Self-Portrait: NZCA LINES - A Friend From School | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, November 28th, 2020  

Self-Portrait: NZCA LINES

A Friend From School

Sep 29, 2020 Photography by Painting by Michael Lovett Issue #67 - Phoebe Bridgers and Moses Sumney
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For our recurring Self-Portrait feature, we ask musicians to take a self-portrait photo (or paint/draw a self-portrait) and write a list of personal things about themselves, things that their fans might not already know about them. This Self-Portrait is by NZCA LINES. NZCA LINES is the London-based project of Michael Lovett and this summer he released his new album, Pure Luxury, via Memphis Industries. It’s his third album, the follow-up to 2016’s Infinite Summer. Over the years Lovett has also performed in Metronomy’s touring band and performed on some of Christine and the Queens’ work.   

One of Pure Luxury’s singles, “Real Good Time,” is built on a P-funk groove, but the dance track is not just about getting the body shaking, it also tackles weighty ecological concerns about agricultural chemicals and overpopulation. “It’s too late to save the bride/I guess she’ll just get buried alive/in waterfalls of pesticide/or gently suffocated by the groom,” Lovett sings. “I just remembered how we die/I saw it on TV one time/But I guess we’ll just keep multiplying.” And “Real Good Time” isn’t the only song on Pure Luxury that examines our environmental crisis—“Larsen” is about the Larsen C ice shelf, which broke up in 2017. Meanwhile, the timely “For Your Love”—which is a slow jam of sorts that’s backed by Barry White-esque strings—is about the challenges of maintaining a romantic relationship across video screens, a problem no doubt many couples face in the era of social distancing.    

Read on as Lovett writes about his childhood pets, his hometown, and TV show he’s been obsessed with. Lovett also drew his own self-portrait. 

1. My spirit animal is the guinea pig. Between the ages of 6 and 16 I owned a small dynasty of guinea pigs, usually in pairs, and the contented wickering noise they make when being petted can still melt my heart. I own several guinea pig shaped mugs and a couple of ceramic guinea pig models which serve no other purpose than to look cute. 

2. I have a stammer. It’s not so bad these days but it comes out when I get stressed. It used to be a lot worse when I was younger. 

3. I can do this weird belly roll thing with my stomach. It really freaks out my wife.  

4. I grew up in a small town in the county of Devon, England called South Brent. If someone in the U.S. asks me what Devon is like, I tell them it’s sort of like Downton Abbey. South Brent, however, is definitely not like Downton Abbey. Devon is also home to the City of Plymouth—where the Mayflower sailed from. 

5. I went to the same school as the singer/songwriter Ben Howard. He was in the year above me at school, and we would play in the same school concerts. 

6. I used to sing in a barbershop quartet. I did the very low bass parts. 

7. I attended university at two different art schools, but I didn’t actually apply to either. 

8. For a while I was addicted to the TV show Jane the Virgin. In an ideal world the music video for my song “Prisoner of Love” would have been based on a telenovella. 

 

9. Me and my brother Gabriel Stebbing have both played and recorded with Metronomy and Christine and the Queens, but never at the same time.

[Note: This article originally appeared as a bonus article in the digital version (for tablets and smart phones) of Issue 67 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online.]

Also read our recent COVID-19 Quarantine Check-In interview with NZCA LINES.

www.nzca-lines.com

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