Sometimes two people are so perfect for each other, it’s as if they were destined to meet. The stars were aligned when Reverend TJ McGlinchey met Dani Mari in Media, Pennsylvania many years ago. This fateful meeting brought Lover’s League into the world.
Dani Mari is no rookie musician; she’s played for thousands at SXSW and Philadelphia Folk Fest. She has also toured with acts such as Patti Smith and The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her extenstive solo work ranges from traditional western tunes to punchy electronica. Enter Reverend TJ McGlinchey; a Philadelphia native as uncompromising in his career as his folksy-blues mantras. The Lover’s League philosophy is this: If one songwriter is good, then two must be better. The resulting body of work is varied and dynamic. Dean Gorfti and Christopher Davis-Shannon complete the lineup on drums and upright bass respectively.
Lover’s League continues to build on each member’s formative solo years with their most recent effort “2”. This EP splits right down the middle – three songs were written by McGlinchey (Darling, Jealousy, I Need to Know) and three by Mari (Gold, Hide and Seek, Overboard). The only rogue track is a lighthearted cover of Huey Lewis and the News’ “Hip to be Square”. Their “folk duet” style embodies the commanding vocal might of The Civil Wars, yet their lackadaisical vocal delivery recalls The Weepies. Their sound is a crossroads of country blues and folk pop. Slide guitars, banjos, and accordions freely interchange on each track. The aura is sincere, but also cozy. The duo’s songwriting prowess pairs well with producer Bill Moriarty’s knack for folk-transcending releases (Dr. Dog, Man Man, The Districts).
Lover’s League also illustrates folk sensibilities with old-timey music videos. For “2”, the group released videos for “Hide and Seek” and “Hip To Be Square”. In “Hide and Seek”, a jaded narrator ponders innocence. The video depicts children running playfully from worried adults, perhaps a nod to fleeting youth. “Hip To Be Square” is an unorthodox cover that also evokes symbolism. The original theme of “Hip To Be Square” follows the transition of ‘60s hippies to ‘80s yuppies. Lover’s League uses black and white television commercials to explore the song’s roots in consumerism. The irony of Lover’s League version of “Hip to Be Square” is it’s folk style, trading in flashy production for simple instrumentation. The final product is an intelligent juxtaposition, bringing new meaning to an old tune.