We Were Lovers is one of the most clever band names around. It’s memorable, tells a perfect bite-sized story and intrigues all in three simple words.
Were the lead singer/synth player Elsa Gebremichael and guitarist Ash Lamothe once lovers? The moments where Elsa wiped the sweat off of Ash’s forehead with the full back of her hand or they danced face to face with eyes locked only served to deepen my curiosity. Yet with all this intrigue it was their music that had me dancing.
Side note: Their band name can also create uncomfortable moments like when I rushed into the Gladstone for their Canadian Music Week performance and blurted out, “We Were Lovers!” Instead of, “Where is We Were Lovers playing?”
The show had just begun and the funky lavender lit room was jam packed. An eclectic crowd stood at the front of the stage, dancing to WWL’s contagious mix of indie electronic pop with its early 80’s glam rock sheen. Elsa, with her mop of perfect golden brown hair and tiger print dress draped over shiny black leggings, looked, moved and sounded like a star. While Ash brought a cool intensity (never speaking to the crowd) that made the band the perfect mix of glitter and substance.
Live, Elsa’s voice has attitude, while recordings reveal an airy pop side. Either way it makes you move. She is also a bold performer and one of the only singers to come right into the audience, winding her way through the crowd to sing to enraptured (if not awkwardly reserved) audience members. It is a strain of fearlessness and confidence that Madonna and Grace Jones have and it’s not something you can manufacture. This is all getting them a lot of attention. The band has already opened for Janelle Monae, Tegan & Sara and performed at NXNE and SXSW.
WWL’s sound and confidence will hopefully take them very far.