Review: Howard Ivans’ “Beautiful Tired Bodies”

SB011Out on Friday is Howard Ivans’ debut record, Beautiful Tired Bodies, on Spacebomb Records. We highly recommend buying yourself a copy, especially the vinyl cause this album is groovin’ for its grooves to spin on your turntable, and therefore the word and the feel for this review is undoubtedly groove.

Howard Ivans is Ivan Howard’s music, on this record accompanied by the Spacebomb Records’ house band “and a VIP list of Richmond musicians.” Howard is also known as half of The Rosebuds, a member of the epic Gayngs project (if you don’t know Gayngs then watch this), and most recently Young Sean Young, a project with Jon Yu that last year released Two Thousand Foot Tall Towers — which is of course well worth checking out.

Early releases by The Rosebuds sounded nothing like Beautiful Tired Bodies, but 2007’s Night of the Furies marked Howard’s first embrace of a different, groovier, sound. The ’80s inspiration and synth-layered sound remained scattered throughout The Rosebuds’ later records, got a bump from Gayngs and Young Sean Young, and is now in prime form and full force on this album.

In 2013, Howard Ivans’ debut was a clear sign that good things would come from the project. In our mind “Red Face Boy” and “Pillows” are at the top of must-be-familiar-withs from 2013, so it’s no surprise that Howard Ivans did not lose a step on Beautiful Tired Bodies. The album opens with the first single, “Denise,” before speeding up with “King of Careless” prior to the horns taking over in “Jump In.” The strong baselines pull the first half of the album and drive “Come On,” the ballad that closes out Side A. Side B opens with “Back to the Life,” the source of the album’s namesake, which keeps the album grooving along, finishing formidably with “They Don’t Know How It Feels.” We’ve included Howard’s closing lines, in full:

Stay awake I want to feel this moment
For as long as I can.

Don’t know how it feels to love you baby
Don’t know how it feels to be here now
Don’t know how it feels to love you baby
In the morning this love will survive
In the morning it always survives.

They don’t know how it feels to love you baby
Don’t know how it feels to be here now
Don’t know how it feels to love you baby
In the morning this love will survive
In the morning it always survives
In the morning this love will survive.

An album about love and groovin’ that’s sure to impress, we encourage listening to Beautiful Tired Bodies on Friday, and then on Saturday, and then on Sunday, and so on.

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