A Note Ahead of ILU IRL

Ok, I know the title is I Love U In Real Life, but how can I ignore such a perfect internet age abbreviation?

Weekend Lovers - I Love U In Real Life

What follows is an unauthorized, facts unchecked account of the latest release from Tucson, Arizona dream pop/indie rock band Weekend Lovers, which sees the full light of day on Friday, November 6, in the year of our uncertain presidential fate, 2020, written by the person who runs this fake-turned-totally-real record label.

This is the first compact disc bearing the Totally Real Records cat logo on it’s silvery finish, and it looks pretty cool. It’s also nice that this record is perfect car music – as that’s where I have a CD player, and have been enjoying these 9 tracks for a few months ever since getting an early copy. But let’s go back to the beginning.

I know Marta De Leon from our days running around the Lower East Side in NYC in the mid-late 00’s. Our bands played together, we saw a lot of bands together, we shared cabs back to Brooklyn (she would even end up playing in a band with Manny aka Ilithios). Earlier this year – back when I was still referring to this as ‘my fake record label’ – Marta asked for some feedback or advice on the record her band was finishing up, and of course I said “why not just let me put it out?” I’d heard the project before, and seen some live clips, and trust Marta’s musical ability and passion for her projects, so I knew it would be good.

When it came to the record – which apparently had some great options for titles – Marta recently shared a list of discarded ideas and I maintain that Crying In The Dollar Store Parking Lot (A Tucson Love Story) is just as good as the one they ultimately went with – it begins with an entrancing guitar line in “Baby” that draws you in and pulls you along through every twist and turn of the album’s story. There’s love, heartbreak, grief, romance, and so much running through this rollercoaster, all under the guise of epic, perfect pop songs. On one hand, this is all indie rock – right? There are definitely guitar riffs and drum grooves from that 90’s school of alt-rock, but even more this band’s sound traces back to the 70’s and 80’s, dreamy, romantic pop songwriting meant to win hearts and capture the airwaves. The analog recording isn’t something I’d always notice, but here it’s like you can feel it. The band’s performance arranged magnetically, with the sort of permanence you won’t get from 1’s and 0’s. It’s not a liner note to be overlooked.

We’ve already gotten to hear the big singles – the core of the album is the heaviest – “2Soon” and “Big As The Dark” as woozy, swirling dreamscapes – “Older” takes it even further into the psych realm, and the Rainer Maria-esque ring and bombast of “Lost In Face” shakes things up before the George Michael cover arrives as a flawless favorite, well-suited to our hero’s tales of love, loss, longing, etc. Weekend Lovers aren’t done quite yet, as “Larvae Love’s” sunburnt roots flavor drags the band out of the desert nights and into those balmy days before we careen towards the end of the record.

By the time things die down a bit, you can feel the spinning slow, but not completely. “Moon On Mars” rises like a hazy vision, the softest song on the record a fitting closer for the ride we’ve just been on, but it doesn’t stay down, rising and falling like a heavy, somber lullaby.

I Love U In Real Life will be released on Bandcamp Friday, November 6, 2020 and is available on CD and digital.

Look for a limited edition cassette release to be announced soon.