A new release from Make Believe Love brings out a whimsical pop tonality that comes through oozing with character and presence as the track hits with a lush and full-bodied soundscape along with just the right amount of edginess just beneath the surface.
"34" is a bit of a Soiree in a way as the track feels so alive and breathing that it almost makes you want to sing along at the top of your lungs once you know the words.
You get a lot of pop variations throughout the course of this track because it does have this rock element, but it also gives us colorful synthesizers and crew vocals that are layered together so that everything has this particular atmosphere and undeniable energy.
The vocal performance on this definitely is delivered with a ton of gusto and a certain attitude that almost gives it a bit of a swagger in a way.
The thing about it is that the contents of the song lyrically talk of all kinds of struggles that in actuality may be real for a lot of people and I think that the outlook of taking on the broad strokes of life and rolling it into something that has a quirkiness to it along with this semi existential overtone is something that isn't really easy to pull off.
It feels almost like these are the kinds of things that the artist wanted to talk about but the only way he knew how was through song.
Maybe it was a bit cathartic for him even.
Either way it's such an interesting format to be able to take such heavy lyrics and make it into such a fun pop song.
This is the kind of thing that a lot of the classics did back in the '80s and '90s.
Consider bands like The Cure, for example, who made insanely danceable and enjoyable songs but were lyrically depressing at times.
Now, Make Believe Love musically is not like The Cure of course, but just how he takes these two different elements and puts them together to create something is a bit special and even somewhat nostalgic.
The track gives off a combination of this garage rock feel but it incorporates keys and synths that float through the track's ether and give it these extra layers to swim through.
So it does have an alternative aspect to it that gives off that bit of edginess but it's so bright and alluring on the pop side that you get pulled right in.
For me, this was endlessly fun and it sort of screams of a youthful coming of age style approach which again, is incredibly relatable for a lot of people.
This was definitely well thought out but the more important part is that the performance of everything, not just vocals, has heart and that's what gives it so much life.
With the release of such a well-woven single, we wanted to have a sit-down with the man behind Make Believe Love to find out where this track actually did come from and what might be next.
Here's what went down.
Buzz Slayers: Okay Lucas, let's start with the "34 " single! This track has a colorful but edgy indie-rock style! How did this single come about?
"34" started with a chord progression that I was playing around with like 10 years ago. It never really went anywhere, and then I moved it to a different key, and boom, something just clicked. Once I put it in the right key, I was able to incorporate parts from other songs that have never seen the light of day - and it just sort of came together, cutting and pasting. I wanted to write something anthemic, but also introspective - but anthems tend to be very hard-charging and not that self-aware. The synth bass part from "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" by Talking Heads inspired the main melody. Lyrically, I took a lot of inspiration from the song "Bastards of Young" by The Replacements. I guess you could say it's art imitating reality. I write about what I know, and I've often asked myself "why am I here? Where have I been and where the hell am I headed?" It's about existential angst, clearly.
Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as an artist? When did you fall in love with music?
Make Believe Love started in the fall of 2021, with a 3-song self-titled EP. I've been a drummer since I was 11, and I've played in more bands than I can count. It's been a wild and wacky journey, but I've always been more interested in songs than drums. I began learning other instruments and slowly I developed the courage to try my own hand at song-writing. I fell in love with music when I was four years old and my dad was going through a midlife crisis. He would play Weezer, Nirvana, Oasis - new bands at the time - and something about those bands just took me to a state of mind I still can't describe all these years later. I've been chasing that feeling my whole life and I hope Make Believe Love can impart that feeling to others.
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
One of two things generally inspire me. Sometimes I'll get very lucky, and a melody or lyric will just pop in my head. More often, I get obsessed about an existing song or band and I try to do what they did but better. Good artists copy. Great artists steal! When you're making pop/rock music, very little in the way of originality is left. Everything is ultimately derivative of something else. I feel like every great song has already been written and a lot of what I did is recycle that greatness.
Buzz Slayers: This single has some great styles on it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
Well, this song is actually a departure from my usual brand of gritty bubblegum. Generally speaking...well like I said, The Replacements are a huge influence...early Weezer. Pavement. Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. Iggy Pop. The Cars. The Sex Pistols. The Smiths. I also love old school R&B and funk. I'm a huge fan of Prince, Rick James, and James Brown. James Brown's bands had the best musicians...guys like Bootsy...Clyde Stubblefield...also the Funk Brothers from Motown...James Jamerson, Earl van Dyke. I also like some alt. country like Wilco. My influences are pretty disparate. The one common denominator is they're all catchy as hell!
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Oh boy. I'm in my second year of law school and it's a grind. Finals are soon approaching (HELP!)......
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
I'm afraid I'm a creature of habit. My tastes haven't changed much since high school. These days I've been listening to Fatal Jamz, my favorite local band, who are playing their first hometown show later this month at the Teragram Ballroom in LA. It's been years since they've done a proper gig here.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
Not yet, but it's a high priority. Make Believe Love has exclusively been a studio project, but I miss playing shows and am in the midst of putting together a band. When you play most of the instruments and sing, you've got to find people willing to play parts they didn't write - and that can be difficult.
Buzz Slayers: Did you record yourself or hit a big studio for this?
I'm lucky enough to have met Louie Diller, an immensely talented multi-instrumentalist, singer, song-writer, composer, and engineer/mixer. Louie is on every track I've put out (including "34") on keyboards, percussion, background vocal harmonies, and occasionally, guitar. He is an amazing producer and engineer, and he's worked in that capacity too. We've recorded all the tracks at his studio in Glassell Park, Red Gate Studio Suites.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
A music video....
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you. It sounds simple and cliche, but it's true. I deliberately make music with the intention of entertaining others. If people get a kick out of the songs, that makes my day. I couldn't ask for a higher honor than that.