American Love, the new album from Toronto-based six-piece Fast Romantics, started off being a record about love. Frontman and lyricist Matthew Angus quickly found out though, that it’s hard to write songs in a vacuum without acknowledging what's going on in the world around you.
“I was falling pretty hard in love when we started the record,” he explains via press release. “But the songs ended up being paintings of what it felt like to fall in love while the rest of the world went mad.”
Angus was writing the album at the time of the last U.S. election, monitoring social media and noticing everyone around him being preoccupied with their smartphones. The feeling of social and political turmoil eventually made its way into the songs.
“It started seeping into the songwriting, and now I’m not even sure how to describe it,” he continues. “Is it a collection of love songs about politics or is it a collection of political songs about love?”
The first single “Why We Fight” is a great example of Angus’ struggle with that question, set to the band’s signature hook-filled pop-rock.
Since its formation in 2009, Fast Romantics has enjoyed a lot of success (including winning pop group of the year at the SiriusXM Indies in 2014 and the SOCAN Songwriting Prize for the song “Julia” in 2016) but also suffered through its share of lineup changes, culminating in Angus doing a complete rebuild of the band in 2014. The current members, in addition to Angus, include Jeffrey Lewis on bass, singer-songwriter Kirty on vocals, acoustic guitar and synth, Kevin Black on guitars, Lisa Lorenz on keyboards and Nick McKinlay on drums.
While American Love represents a new phase for the band in terms of personnel, it also seems like they are simply picking up from where they left off with 2013’s excellent Afterlife Blues. It’s an album is full of catchy, well-written tracks and anthemic choruses that will stick in your head for days.
Listen to our advance stream of American Love right here a week ahead of its release date.