Having formed in Los Angeles in 2014, Livingmore have just released their new album The Garden. The duo of Alex Moore (vocals/guitar) and Spencer Livingston (guitar/vocals) have crafted a wonderful album with ten new songs recorded at the famous EastWest Studios in Los Angeles. Produced by The Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder, the record was mixed by grammy nominated mixer and engineer Ryan McCambridge and mastered by renown mastering engineer Christopher Colbert.
After the indie-pop/rock of the first two albums OK To Land and Take Me and the stripped down and intimate Look (released in 2022), the band have combined the feel of those records while expanding their sound. “Places” is a dreamy alt-pop masterpiece while recent single “Part Of The Talk” and “Don’t Go Anywhere” highlight the band’s knack for a catchy tune.
We were lucky enough to chat with Alex and Spencer on the eve of the release of The Garden to talk about the new record and ten years of Livingmore.
Hi Guys! How’s everything going right now?
Alex: It’s good. We’re excited to release our new album The Garden and headline The Echo on February 2nd.
Spencer: We’ve had this album in the works for a little while now so we’re definitely looking forward to finally getting it out there for people to listen to.
What classic album cover art is your current mood?
Spencer: George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”
Your new album The Garden is released on Jan 26th. When and where did you write and record it?
Spencer : We recorded it all in Los Angeles, at EastWest studios in Hollywood and The Cave Studio over in in Glassel Park.
Alex: When it comes to writing we never really say to each other “ok today is a writing session” or anything like that so it can happen anywhere. The living room, walking to CVS, the shower so yeah we wrote it in Los Angeles where we live. Kinda all over the place.
The first two singles (“Places” and “At Ease”) especially are in a very different place sonically from the pop/rock of (second album) Take Me. Was this a deliberate attempt to broaden your sound or just how the songs evolved?
Alex: We definitely wanted to broaden our sound and wanted to create a more experimental landscape but Places and At Ease though maybe more ethereal sounding compared to Take Me, also kind of take us back to where we first started. If you listen to our past work we’ve always had songs like “Little Bird” or “Sleepy Boy” which are in that dreamy realm and I feel like this new album sort of combines those sounds but with a fresh twist.
Spencer: I know what you’re saying and I think that sonically what you are noticing has a lot to do with the production side of things. That’s definitely a big part of why we brought Jeff Schroeder onboard to produce the album. He was definitely a big factor in helping us expand our sonic palette. Writing-wise, if you boil each song down to it’s basic elements, a lot of times our songs tend to start off as kind of these little acoustic lullabies. This new group of songs isn’t much different in that sense. We just approached them differently on the arrangement and production side of things.
If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Alex: So basically what your saying is everything has melted around me except for a record player and I can only choose one record because this is hell and the devil wants to make me sick of my favorite album… I guess I’d have to choose something semi relaxing maybe Fleetwood Mac – “Dreams”. it has enough peaks and valleys to keep me intrigued for the rest of my one record eternity.
Spencer – I’m totally cheating here but there’s a Beatles box set that has every album in it. I think I would ask the devil if he might consider letting me have The Beatles box set for all of eternity. Technically its all part of one big album… If he said no I guess I’d have to go with Abbey Road.
You described 2022’s Look as a DIY album as it was recorded in your living room. Did you prefer being back in a full studio for “The Garden” and what that can bring to a record?
Alex: There’s things we love about both but what we really love is changing the scenery each time for new energy to occur. We really are living in a time where you can make a record in your living room and it can sound like you made it in a studio. But when it comes to recording drums having a great board and studio to record in makes such a difference. At east west we used studio 3 which has so much history. The Beach Boys worked on Pet Sounds in that room and The Mamas And Papas recorded “California Dreaming” in that room. The magic is undeniable in a room like that. And of course when you’re in a studio with such creative people like Jeff Schroeder our producer, Josiah Mazzaschi our engineer and Mike Schadel our drummer, all kinds of magic can occur.
You recently celebrated ten years of Livingmore. What do you know now that you wish you could go back and tell yourselves as you were about to start out?
Alex: For every disappointment there will be a new direction that you didn’t understand you needed at the time. I also would say don’t panic or overthink too hard when it comes to your music career. The time I used to spend overthinking, I could’ve been drawing a picture, walking outside, learning something new or talking to a friend. Balance won’t make you neglect your goals, it will only make you happier. I can’t say I’ve mastered it yet but balance is something I have more of in my life now.
Spencer: I would tell my younger self to not be so hard on myself and trust the universe. I would also tell my younger self not to smoke cigarettes. I kicked that habit 4 years ago and it was pretty gnarly.
Great advice! You have an album launch show on Feb 2nd and a few other CA dates later this year. Are you planning to tour the record further afield? Would love to see you play live in Philly!
Alex: We’d love to tour more and we’re hoping to get the chance to. We always want to but we are DIY in all ways so it just has to make sense. We’re always open to it though. You never know what new opportunities will arise when putting out a new album.
Spencer: I agree with Alex. We are always open to it but it just needs to make sense. At this point, Livingmore is all about having fun for us. It’s our happy place. If something seems anything less than an extremely good time we’re just not really that interested. Anytime a meaningful opportunity to bring our live show to another city or country presents itself to us, we really just weigh how fun it sounds at this point. We’ll overlook all kinds of other things if it sounds like a good time.
When you are on tour, what is the one thing you can’t do without?
Alex: I think we would both say bubbly water!
Spencer: My pillow. Not “My Pillow” like the shitty ones on TV but like my personal pillow…
What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
Alex: Mushrooms, olives and pepperoni and sprinkled chili flakes. I’d call it “Bob”
Spencer: Margherita pizza with basil and mozzarella. I call it “The Antonio Margherita” (Quentin Tarantino Reference)
What else do you have planned for 2024?
Spencer : We’ve got a few things on the calendar. We’ll be playing a mini fest being put on by Nomad Eel Records at The Grand Annex Theater in San Pedro, CA on April 13th and we’ll also be opening for a great band called Dada at The Troubadour on June 8th. We are doing a radio DJ thing on 88.5 FM The SoCal Sound as their “artist in residence” for the month of February. We’ll be hosting an hour long radio show every Saturday in February from 6Pm-7pm. Some other things in the works but I don’t want to jinx anything so that’s really all I’ll say about that for the moment.