The Love Language Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


North Carolina native Stuart McLamb allegedly started his musical project, the Love Language, during his tumultuous mid-20s amidst periods of heartbreak and alcohol-fueled stints in prison—but you’d never know that from listening to the summery, upbeat jangle of his quintet’s sophomore album, Libraries (out July 13 on Merge). However, we’re sure things have turned around quite a bit for McLamb after last year’s critically acclaimed debut and nonstop touring with the likes of the Rosebuds and Moneybrother. In fact, good fortune still abounds for the band, which is set to support Libraries on tour with Local Natives this fall. MAGNET is also feeling pretty lucky, as this is our second mix tape made by the Love Language.

“Heart To Tell” (download):

Link Wray “The Fuzz”
Link Wray is one of my favorite guitarists of all time. He had a way of injecting his own personality into the instrument that few people have. I picked this track because it showcases his many talents in one song. In many ways, I like him more than all the usual guitar heroes like Hendrix, Page, etc. He just played with so much attitude. He had instrumentals that were banned from radio. That is so bad-ass. Just a good ol’ boy from Dunn, N.C., making big, big sounds. Video

The Breeders “No Aloha”
I’ve always been a huge Pixies fan, but recently I’m enjoying the Breeders more. Kim Deal is a horribly underrated songwriter. I think she’s one of the best, if not the best, of the ’90s. This is just one of those few songs that I can’t even begin to fathom how it was written. Just a beautiful pairing of melody, lyrics and dynamics. Isn’t that what all songs should strive for? Video

Fleetwood Mac “I Know I’m Not Wrong”
Missy turned me on to this one on a mix tape she made for me. I just fell in love with it immediately. From the sped-up rhythm guitars to the great hook, it’s just a pop gem. This is one of those songs that can make you feel like everything’s gonna be all right. It might even go as far as actually make everything all right. Video

Paul McCartney “Junk”
I heard our bass player Justin playing this on a ukulele and was blown away. I thought it was an original he was working on, but sadly it was the work of Sir Paul. This is one of my favorite melodies of all time. This may be the best melody of all time. Sorry, “Surfer Girl.” I said so. On my MAGNET mix tape. Video

The Undertones “Teenage Kicks”
All I have to say about this song is that it has repeatedly made me come very, very close to wrecking my car. When I used to be allowed to drive a car. Video

Veelee “Not Getting Nowhere”
This is a great little pop song that doesn’t try to hard. It just modestly draws you in until you’re surrounded by it and totally content. Veelee are from Chapel Hill. They are a very nice/attractive couple. Their names are Matt and Ginger. Have them play your party. Audio

Lorraine Ellison “Stay With Me”
I heard about this song through a mix tape Lou Reed made for Guitar World, oddly enough. This is one of the most convincing vocal performances I’ve ever heard. It’s just so powerful. This is not a song to put on a mix tape for a girl/guy you’re crushing on. It’s just too powerful and would probably freak them out. I feel like she cried the whole time she sang it and beat the shit out of the producer when he tried to pat her on the back and ask her if she was OK. Video

Laughing Man “Being There (Cassette Sessions)”
Laughing Man are a great band out of D.C. We’ve played a couple shows with them, and they’re just really passionate about what they do and play with an honest  fervor. Off of the stage, Brandon Moses, who writes the songs, is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. It shows in his music. He’s just a guy who loves rock ‘n’ roll, and he’ll make you love it, too. Audio

Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On”
This song is so beautiful on so many different levels that I could write a book on it. I’ll just focus on the bass line. It is absolutely amazing. I think James Jamerson lied drunk on the floor while God himself just shredded through his fingertips. The bass line reminds me of two rabbits (no pun intended) playing with each other: one running ahead waiting for the other to catch up and vice versa. An example of perfect improvisation that ended up being a beautiful, linear peice of music. And it went to number two on the Billboard charts. Pretty cool. Video

Lee Hazlewood And Nancy Sinatra “Some Velvet Morning”
I love Lee Hazlewood recordings because they don’t sound like musicians in a room making a record. They’re bigger than that. They sound like some weird surreal Western’s soundtrack. I can’t even describe it. They’re just so alive. The backing band on this record is like a vast dark horizon in the southwest. And his voice is a tornado just floating on top of everything. Then in comes the hippie goddess parting the clouds and sending sunbeams down on the berated town with flowers perking up and chipmunks dancing together. Then they just start fucking with your head with the conflicting moods at the end. It’s a lot like the weather in North Carolina. Video