Veterans of the Los Angeles music scene, LPFM offers listeners a piece of heaven with their latest single, “Underneath,” from their two-track EP, 'Underneath/Love Iz No.3,'
The Indie world has been given a new voice with LPFM, a duo consisting of Chris Paul Overall and John Wilson III. Following up on the stellar 5-track EP, 'Voices,' released in March 2020, the first track off of this two-track project takes us on a three-and-a-half-minute sonic voyage that gives any artists' melodic bending a run for their money. The atmospheric and boisterous performance by LPFM shows us why, “Underneath,” is on top.
“Underneath,” initiates in such a raw and simplistic way that it moves mountains. For a record that contains the number of components it does, it holds its own as gracefully elegant in its simplistic yet wonderful standing. The heavenly reverberated vocals from LPFM transports you to cloud nine while you zone in on the well-crafted lyrics about not being afraid in life, even when you can’t trust what you don’t know is there.
The elements that are introduced as the song advances, allow listeners into the realm of this euphoric creation. Through each sincere presentation, the ambiance that LPFM has a knack for delivering is exuded in an effortless manner between the deep, flowing vocals to the composition in place.
“Underneath,” is only a slice of what LPFM has to offer and the longer they stay dominating the scene, the more we realize why they deserve to be here.
Congratulations on the release of, “Underneath,” off of your EP, “Underneath/Love Iz No.3.” What influenced your decision to make this two-track EP include, “Underneath?"
Chris: Since the release of our debut EP "Voices" back in March 2020, John and I have
continued to produce demos and material for upcoming releases. Especially now during the Covid lockdown, we find ourselves having way more time to focus on that.
John: The songs Chris and I write to pay homage to the bands that have always inspired us
as musicians. We write the type of music we want to hear. Our name LPFM also comes out of that same idea, nodding to the low power FM independent radio stations that still play music not curated by a corporation or algorithm. “Underneath” was written organically as we were reacting to the state of the world & even more specifically where we live. It’s relevant to this time in history and we felt it necessary to release the song immediately (in June 2020) instead of waiting to add it to a group of songs later.
What does this record mean to both of you individually and together as a collective?
John: The news on TV around March/April 2020 got really hard to watch. The stories kept getting worse and worse every day, as was my anxiety about what was happening. I took it out on the piano at some point and sent the idea to Chris. It became “Underneath.” It wasn’t planned. In contrast to our first release, which was 5 songs we just enjoyed creating as songwriters, this song has a purpose. It exists specifically because of what’s been going on in 2020. I feel the weight of what we’re going through in both the music and the lyrics. I’m really proud of this track.
Chris: Everything we were creating during that time seemed to be a very stream of
consciousness. More than being a specific meaning or tone, the “Underneath” EP just encompasses all of the emotions we went through during the time we were making it. It’s anxiety-driven and skeptical. I think it was an attempt to offer some hope to ourselves. No matter how bad things get they will always get better at some point.
There are so many beautiful components to “Underneath.” Could you please take us into the creative process of the song?
Chris: "Underneath" started out as a verse and bridge progression that John sent me in
April. That's usually how we work. He writes some roughly produced progressions and then I'll add a few elements or just sing what I hear his foundation asking for and we cut and paste back and forth until we have an agreed roadmap. In this case, I was having one of those days where I was manically processing the information that I was hearing from the world. Are we all gonna die? Is this just temporary? Should I dig a bunker in the backyard and
prepare for the apocalypse? You know, the typical questions us sensitive artist
types might reel on during a global pandemic. "...I don't trust what I can't see. Though the darkness wants to pull me down...you can't hold me underneath".
I have this sense (or perhaps delusion) that there are folks who are generally good and there are those who are generally bad. Whether that's a dirty politician, a corrupt leader, or just plain evil humans these are the people who prey upon anyone they can to assure their own agenda. No one is perfect but not everyone actually premeditates intentional destruction.
This song reflects on that corrupt demographic. The bridge, "...Don't be afraid...You'll see someday", is an inner mantra one might chant to cope with the inner demons during times as challenging as these. It's meant to empower people who relate to that experience. The bridge has a different sonic atmosphere than the rest of the song. That was very intentional.
Since lyrically that section is very hopeful in nature we felt like it made sense for everything to be very organic there. No synthetic instruments, just a mix of various stringed instruments and drums. There's also a pad of choral hauntings woven "Underneath" sung by Dallas Kruse. It gives that section a soothing angelic quality.
How was the writing process different for “Underneath,” versus, "Love Iz No.3?"
John: "Love Iz No.3" was a Rhodes and vocal thing Chris showed me. To me, it sounded
like another mantra, similar to the bridge of “Underneath.” The 2 songs complement each other. I thought the track he sent me sounded great as it made sense to keep this one Chris and I. A full band production would not have served this song properly. The “No.3” references the 3rd idea I’d tried on the drums. Everything I was coming up with initially felt like a distraction to the message of the song. Then Fiona Apple surprised us all with the brilliant “Fetch The Bolt Cutters” which inspired the layered percussive approach I ended up playing.
The title is unique because the song is unique.
Chris: Yeah, what he said. Haha, I think the only difference for this tune was that it was
a song idea I brought to John rather than the typical way we do things. Honestly, it wasn’t something I thought would make it on a record. Just fooling around. Sometimes music is just fun kids!
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020? What can we expect to see next from you?
John: As “Underneath/Love Iz No.3” was being mastered (by Gavin Lurssen) & prepped for release, George Floyd’s death & the movement that followed inspired us to write another song called “For Those Who Can’t Breathe.” That track with 2 other songs, “Open” and “Fragile Heart,” became our 3rd EP “Open” which was released in August. It’s not our intent to be a political band. We’re just writing about how we feel and what we’re going through, and hope the authenticity of our songs translates to the listener. We’re constantly writing and recording, although our next release hasn’t been planned yet. Our good friends Justin Burrow, Dallas Kruse, and Nic Rodriguez are the incredible studio players who help us create the sound of LPFM. We’ve known these guys for a long time and they constantly inspire my writing.
Chris: I’ve been driven mostly by a gratefulness to have space and time to be creative.
It’s also extremely therapeutic to lose yourself in creation. With all we have been
through in 2020 music has offered an outlet to deal with it all. The times I have
been the most afraid or anxious I have used to bury my head in songs. It gets
my mind off of the outside chaos.