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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

May 16, 2014 at 6:01 AM

Lovebirds: separate nests, but still singing duo | Concert preview

By Mikel Toombs / Special to The Seattle Times

(Courtesy of the artists)

(Courtesy of the artists)

The Lovebirds, the San Diego folk-pop duo who perform Wednesday at the High Dive, work together closely on their new album, “Breakup, Shmakeup,” notable for its entwining, entrancing vocal harmonies and complementary songs.

So closely, in fact, that musical partners Lindsay White and Veronica May sometimes forget just who wrote what.

White remembers composing the songs “Boat Train, “Whiplash,“ “Crimson Love” and, um (“I’m pulling it up on my iTunes right now,” she said), “Catch the Rain” and “It Lands.”

For her part, May wrote “Love Through Our Music,” “Fortunate Us,” “Be” and “Because of Love.” The two joined forces on, aptly enough, “Echo.”

“I think we‘ve invested so much musically in each other,” May said. “We swell together, we move together and we don’t even realize it. There have been several times when one of us forgets a word, the other one won’t sing it. We completely rely on each other at every second of the way.”

“The other nice thing about the harmonies is that’s where we feel security in having a cohesive sound,” added White, a finalist in this year’s prestigious Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival “New Folk“ contest, after being nominated for writing “Boat Train“ and “Crimson Love.”

“Sometimes it’ll sound like an old-timey folk song and sometimes it’ll sound like a full-on rock song, and everything in between. But the one thing that ties it all nicely together in a bow is those harmonies.”

If this makes the Lovebirds, who made their bow in 2010, sound like, well, lovebirds, they were. However, the couple dissolved their romantic relationship last year (hence the title of the current album, their third) in order to save the musical relationship.

The two wrote about the incidents that would inspire the album “right after they had happened,” May said. “We broke up in April and then we went on tour in May. I would say we went to our own corners and started writing songs about it, and having the pain — some of them, the peace — in it, some of them the hope of it.

“We talked about it one night and we just kind of decided that maybe there was too much pressure to do it all,” May continued. “And we talked about what was the most important to us. We met through music and we fell in love through music, and that was always the great thing about us. So we wanted to do whatever we could to preserve that.”

These Lovebirds, by the way, are not to be confused with the like-titled UK band, which wanted the California duo to change their name.

Our Lovebirds weren‘t buying it: “We’re called the Lovebirds, for crying out loud,” May said. “Not sharing a name like that would go against the message of a name like the Lovebirds.”

The Lovebirds, with Brenda Xu and Jesse Solomon

8 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at High Dive, 513 N. 36th St, Seattle; $6 (206) 632-0212 or www.highdiveseattle.com).

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