Love Of Mine
Sister duo Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos have titled their debut full-length album Love Of Mine, but don’t expect any cooing or earnest terms of endearment within the songs. It’s a collection of pretty, buoyant, anti-love songs that are mostly about reveling in independence. In the Vic And Gab world of relationships, things are very one-sided; the singer usually has complete control and the object of her words has little say in the outcome of whatever dubious state their interactions are currently in. With its peppy melodies, languorous sensuality, and dearth of empathy, Love Of Mine might be the most pleasantly detached relationship record ever.
The album starts with a couple of conditional rejection letters that are way too bouncy to suggest any sympathy. “Love Of Mine” and “Call Me When You Can Be You” are both breezy trots akin to latter-day Paul Simon or Willy Porter, with great peppy vocal hooks but seemingly hopeless outcomes. The crux of the title track is the morose bridge, “Wait / We’re such a tragedy / Don’t wait up for me / Give up,” the perfect contrasting interlude that captures the pervading mood of the album. “Crazy Love” feels perpetually on the verge of breaking into a double-time dance party (particularly given all the lyrics about going crazy and dancing), but ultimately it stays in mellow, quasi-shoegaze territory reminiscent of Belly, almost ominous until the jubilant guitar lick towards the end. These three tracks showcase the sisters’ talent for succinct expression of complex emotions and fitting them into simple, engaging melodies; the question of whether or not they’re aware of those complexities is probably moot.
“Trying To Love” and “Let You Down” perpetuate the album’s pervading neutral wistfulness; on the subject of love, Vic And Gab come off as detached from the condition, almost to the point of heartlessness, but their singing is almost constantly alluring. The only glimpses of vulnerability are “Come And Stay” and “Why’d You Go Away,” the latter of which is the most musically aggressive track on the album, suggesting at least a twinge of actual heartache. The only persistent problem with the record is its relentlessly slow pace—although it does make the last two tracks feel positively hyper. “When You Walk Into The Room” sounds like a slowed-down Tegan And Sara, but it’s the album’s most upbeat and ostensibly romantic tune yet. The gist of the song is “Who cares how we feel about each other? Let’s dance!” It’s another radio-worthy nugget on an album full of them. Vic And Gab never reach for any potent musical extremes, but their accessible blend of ’80s and ’90s jangly indie-pop styles still sounds fresh.
Vic And Gab will celebrate the release of Love Of Mine Friday, July 12 at the Cactus Club. Fable & The World Flat and Mutts will open the show.