By Chris Yee
Anthropology of Love wants it all. At least, they want a drummer — though an orchestra of musicians would be nice. “Xylophone, vibraphone, fiddle, mandolin, banjo – then we’d be a band,” front-man and chief songwriter Vaughn Swenson quipped.
Originally consisting of Swenson, an anthropology and art history student who is planning to transfer to UBC, (“Kwantlen’s a sweet school though,” he commented) and long-time friend Joe Gibson (“We’ve been in bands together for 6 years,” Swenson says), Anthropology of Love quickly morphed into a guitar and bass-driven three piece, adding Ryan Faliszewski to the line-up (future drummers notwithstanding).
As one might guess, Swenson’s studies inspired Anthropology of Love’s name. “Hopefully our music can be a bridge for all the different cultures, and it can unite [them] by the one universal thing, which is love, which binds us all,” Swenson said.
A love of 60s and 70s pop informs Anthropology of Love’s music. There’s the obvious Beatles influence, which Swenson admits, but the band’s influences are more wide-ranging than that. For instance, at a May 19 battle-of-the-bands-style show at Ceili’s Irish Pub, Anthropology of Love did what Swenson described as a “sultry” cover of “I Saw The Light” by classic rock radio staple Todd Rundgren, who was later known for “Bang the Drum All Day” and being Liv Tyler’s alleged-but-not-actual dad, (though his 1972 album, Something/Anything? is quite good, at least in Swenson’s opinion as a self-described record “guru”).
Sadly, Anthropology of Love didn’t win, despite their solid musicianship that night.
“I thought we played the songs OK… the levels could have been better,” Swenson said when asked about how they fared during the set, exhibiting a degree of discernment that also defined their set on May 19.
It’s all for the better that at least one of the Anthropologists of Love has good ears: though they hope to put out CDs soon, Anthropology of Love is self-recording for now.
“I have recording equipment, Ryan has recording equipment, we’re just trying to write songs and play shows,” Swenson said.
“Recording an album costs so much money,” Swenson noted, reflecting on the realities of the music business.
“[Doing it yourself] is, like, ten times cheaper,” Swenson added.
So what else is next for Anthropology of Love? “I think we need to pick up different styles of music, like Indian songs, gypsy music,” Swenson answered.
This explains Swenson’s hope for a vanload of musicians to fill out Anthropology of Love’s ranks.
“I think we could have an orchestra, definitely.”
For now, though, the love anthropologists at Anthropology of Love plan to continue courting venues in Vancouver and elsewhere with their classic pop stylings.
Anthropology of Love will play their next show June 7 at the Railway Club with Blake Acoustic, Something Paisley and Hallow Moon.