With a sneaky electric guitar line and seductive vocals, gritty glam rockers The Love–In deliver a magnetic vibe in their brand new single, “Spotlight Starlet,” which officially drops tomorrow June 24th.
Throughout the track, lead singer-songwriter Laurel Sorenson’s voice commands attention, while Michael Rasile’s dynamic drumming maintains the hard-driving energy of the song. The funky and kinetic atmosphere in guitarist Theo King and bassist Maxwell Zikakis’ riffs offer a buzzsaw of palpable energy, and the song as a whole delivers much welcomed rock and roll energy.
Having completed a cross country tour and released an album along with several singles over the past few years, The Love-In has been exploring their sound as a band since their formation in 2015.
Their previous single, “Freedom of Sexpression,” which came out in February, also delivers a rock and punk feel, delivering messages of releasing inhibitions and simply enjoying the pleasures of life. This edgy and exhilarating energy remains present in “Spotlight Starlet”.
We had the opportunity to talk with Sorenson to learn more about their new single, inspirations, and much more.
It’s been a little while since we last talked. How’s the year treated you so far?
This year has been really wild. Taking all of the songs written during quarantine on the road has been a wild experience. Watching crowds respond to them in a completely different way than they responded to our 2019 set has been incredibly rewarding and inspiring.
So you’ve got your new single, “Spotlight Starlet,” dropping tomorrow June 24th. What can you tell us about the influence and inspiration behind this song?
“Spotlight Starlet” was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend about the spotlight effect, which is a concept in psychology that describes the feeling of overestimating how much attention other people are paying to you. It’s the feeling that everyone is looking at you or noticing when you do something embarrassing or amazing, when in reality most people are too concerned with their own day to day to be thinking about you. “Spotlight Starlet” pokes fun at that idea, showing the extremes and the drama of interacting with people through that lens. I used to take a lot of comfort in the idea that most people aren’t thinking of me at all, though I’ve since found out that’s less the case than I originally thought, but that’s the story of a different song.
Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP, or is it a standalone single for now?
“Spotlight Starlet” is the first single off the forthcoming EP of the same name. The Spotlight Starlet EP will be out August 19th.
As we know, songs inspire or motivate different energies and actions. What can you envision people doing while listening to this song?
Honestly, I see people listening to this song while they do something that really does make them the center of attention, whether it’s getting ready for a night out or performing a strip tease. That’s the beauty of this song. Lyrically it’s funny and sarcastic, but musically it’s pretty sexy. Ultimately, I always want to make music that makes people feel sexy, sad, or both, and I think “Spotlight Starlet” accomplishes that.
What messages or feelings do you typically try to convey in your music?
The goal of this single – and really this whole release – is blending introspection and sensuality. You can think deeply about things while also being in your body and dancing or feeling turned on. You can walk around feeling sexy and confident, while also recognizing that you’re not the center of the universe.
Your sound has hints of indie rock, glam rock, garage rock, etc. Do you actively attempt to fuse various styles of rock/pop in your sound, or just play whatever the hell you want and it just comes out this way?
My music comes out however it wants. I always think, “oh this is obviously a rock song,” and then someone will say, “great jazz tune” or something of that nature. I’ve been letting go of the idea of genre because the reality is that those categories were not created by musicians or even fans based off of musical features. They were originally created by white businessmen in the Northeast that were trying to sell culture back to people who made it. As an artist, particularly as a woman and a mixed race person, none of these categories were made for me and none of them have ever really fit.
What does your songwriting process look like on a group and/or individual level?
I wake up every morning at 7:15 AM, free-write for 45 minutes, and then spend the next two hours or so with my piano and my guitar until I have written a song. Only about a third of them are good, but if you do it every day, you end up with a pretty significant volume of good songs.
What does success look like for The Love-In? Knowing there’s no concrete finish line and the work is never done, what would it take for you to say, “Okay, we’ve officially made it,” even if just temporarily?
Success to me is the ability to make whatever I want with the resources I need to do it. Those resources include time, money, and collaborators I admire. It takes a long time to tour enough as a DIY band to save up the money required to make a full-length record at all, let alone with the producer of your dreams and all the best players.
If you could tour and/or collaborate with any present-day artist, who would it be and why?
My dream collaboration is with Beyoncé. She is such an incredible artist and I feel like I could learn so much just from being in the room with her.
What else might fans expect from The Love-In this summer, and frankly the rest of the year?
Fans should know right now that the best is yet to come. We’ve had a lot of practice producing our own demos over the pandemic, and that experience made it so we could really take ownership of our own sound. The songs on the EP are the truest expressions of The Love-In that we’ve ever made. And the live show, don’t even get me started on the live show. It sparkles more and more brightly every time we hit the road, so keep your eyes peeled for more dates!