Portland, Maine-based indie rock band Lovers of Fiction formed when classical composer and University of Southern Maine professor Dan Sonenberg – keyboards, guitar, drums, percussion, vocals – surprised three former students – Sam Chandler: keyboard, bass, percussion, vocals – Mark Dennis: guitars, bass, drums, percussion – Jimmy Dority: guitars, bass, accordion, ukelele, percussion, vocals – by asking them to join his rock band. The band emerged as one of the more unlikely collaborations to grow out of the academia, and released a three-song EP in 2013, The Bear, that was met with almost universal local praise.
Lovers of Fiction have now released a two-song single, entitled “So Simple & Another Song,” available for free on their Bandcamp page, and will be releasing their debut full-length album in December 2015. Perhaps the most outstanding thing about Lovers of Fiction is their seamless blend of vintage and art-rock. The blasting electric riffs, sprawling melodies, and the whirling, sinuous guitars are all interwoven without so much as a sonic burp. At first glance, it seems like a fairly typical rock single, but upon further listening, the alluringly complicated music begins to filter itself fully into your brain.
It’s difficult to find a musical flaw with Lovers of Fiction in “So Simple & Another Song,” as Sonenberg’s voice flitters between murmuring, full-blooded singing and wailing. Backing him up are the layered, whirling guitar riffs and Mark Dennis’ controlled, free-flowing drumming. Fiercely adventurous, brooding and expressive, and even angry on “Another Song,” this two-track single is a breathtaking ride into a majestic rock world all its own.
Inventive and enticing, this particular blend of rock expression takes us into artful territory where music becomes distinctive and unique. And the rare thing about Lovers of Fiction is how they balance bone-crunching riffs with sprawling, melodic sensibilities of 60’s rock, and the glorious arranging splendor of 70’s art-rock, then take all that and present it in an almost rock opera style. All in all, “So Simple & Another Song,” comes pretty damn close to rock n’ roll perfection. I’m extremely keen to see how far Lovers of Fiction are able to expand their creative ideas on the full-length upcoming album!