There are many different ways a musician can create hype for an impending album. Some are very common: Releasing a single, reminding fans on a daily basis via social media, talking to the press. There are other methods of promotion, however, that are a bit more off the beaten path. Here’s one for example: Releasing an entirely separate LP weeks before the debut. This is what Reno-based Love and Light, an unconventional duo comprised of Matt Madonna and Ryan Anderson, did just the other week to prep fans for Level Up. This warm-up LP, if you will, titled More Than A Feeling, was appropriately a bit of a tease. It combined originals with remixes — most notably “Fat Bottom Girls” — and although it functioned simply a taste of things to come — or, as they called it, “a gesture of appreciation to all our fans” — More Than A Feeling let the world know Love and Light are here to stay.
What, then, does Madonna and Anderson’s real effort say? Well, it says a few things. First: their influences are very clear. The entire album contains a 1-2 breakbeat rhythm. A bouncy style that’s perfect for a bit of energy, but isn’t overwhelming in the slightest. OPIUO and Tipper are clear motivators here, but once you look past this wonderfully agressive hopping beat, a wider range of audible inspirations are present in the tiniest corners of each track. Second: they love their crunch. It’s right there, clear as day, in all of Level Up‘s 14 tracks. And when I say crunch, I’m not referring to the pseudo term often used instead of wobble or bass. Certain elements of their music literally sound as if it’s crunching. In some tracks, this singular component provides a bed for more agressive synths and lasers to rest upon, but in others, it takes center stage, smacking your ear drums with a pleasurable intensity. And, lastly: Level Up demonstrates Love and Light’s proficiency. This LP contains 14 songs. More Than A Feeling had 13. That’s 27 tracks released in under a month. Are they machines? How does one do that? If nothing else, the rate at which these two are releasing music speaks to the level of mastery they have obtained.