Jesus. I can’t say I didn’t expect a barrage of My Bloody Valentine madness given the band’s sudden announcement and release of its first new shoegazing venture in 20-plus years, m b v, back in February, but I certainly didn’t see this one coming. Kenny Feinstein, the frontman for Portland roots-rockers Water Tower, is releasing a complete cover album of the MBV classic, Loveless. And it’s oh so sweet.
The first single off of Loveless: Hurts to Love, to my pleasant surprise, is a gorgeous, distortion-free rendition of “What You Want,” featuring singer-songwriter and heralded alt-country pioneer Richard Buckner. The arrangement is fairly minimalistic, chock-full of light piano and delicate guitar, giving our first taste of the album, which might be called more shoeless than shoegaze.
"The mystery was intriguing and painful,” said Feinstein in a press release, speaking of the epiphany he had while listening to the original cut of MBV’s “Loomer." "That started the year of Loveless for me. I listened to it every day for a year, sometimes a few times a day, sometimes all day. I had a feeling of not being able to get close enough to the album. This hurt me. I tried to get closer and closer, and play it louder and louder, but I could never get as close as I wanted to. So I decided to learn each song as accurately as possible."
Feinstein has been working on the album in between Water Tower tours and recording the band’s forthcoming debut full-length, Secret Love Buzz. The music video for “What You Want” features plenty of Feinstein close-ups, a hodgepodge of home movies circa 1989 and some moonlit romps through dark woods and candlelit homes—Not to mention more fog than a Def Leppard concert.
Loveless: Hurts to Love drops on Fluff and Gravy Records on Sept. 17.