By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England
Review: Sweetlove’s Goodnight Lover EP- Release date March 26, 2021
Tragedy has often been the catalyst for inspiration as it seeks an outlet for understanding and nowhere is that more evident than Sweetlove’s Goodnight Lover EP. Devastated by the multiple losses of her lifelong friend Matt, her long time love David, and her cousin Teddy, all within a year of each other, Sweetlove found refuge in her songwriting.
The six song EP Goodnight Lover begins before the tragedies struck with an upbeat “Devil On Your Shoulder” which showcases Sweetlove’s smokey vocals as she encouragingly sings “Do everything you feel, Never too late, never too soon”.
The title track “Goodnight Lover” is a sassy, bluesy standout, whose message appears to be hopeful love, however, becomes more poignant when taken into the context of loss of her longtime love, David.
The tone turns more solemn with “The House” and “Did You Even Know”. Sweetlove’s anguished vocals, paired with the sadness and sorrow of weeping steel guitar, convey the gut wrenching pain of loss and regret.”
“Before The Devil Knows Your Dead” pays homage to that old Irish blessing, “May you be in heaven a full half-hour before the devil knows you’re dead”, and was written only months after the death of lifelong friend Matt.
Sweetlove wrote the song with Zach Berkman. “I came to Zach with the idea of wanting to send Matt off to someplace better,” she says. “Whatever happens after we pass, I do believe we aren’t our bodies. I believe he’s somewhere––I don’t know where. But I believe he’s at peace, at last.”
Crushing lyrics full of regret, despair and finally forgiveness, as she sings a full chorus of, “It’s all right love, you can rest easy now”. “Thing I Didn’t Say” is the perfect ending for this great collection.
Listening to Goodnight, Lover, a truth emerges: Sweetlove isn’t merely working through her own hurt. She is singing these songs to the ones she still misses, addressing them with tenderness and love. She is interested in the potential of music therapy to assist others––from veterans with PTSD to those dealing with loss––and she hopes these songs can be a balm to anyone who hears them.
“I think David would be really happy to hear that I took this terrible thing and made something beautiful out of it––something that can touch others,” Sweetlove says, quietly. “I hope listeners take what they need from it to comfort themselves or maybe feel less alone.”
Pre-save/stream the EP: https://headbtchmusic.ffm.to/goodnightlover
CD Track List
- Devil On Your Shoulder
- Goodnight, Lover
- The House
- Did You Even Know
- Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
- Things I Didn’t Say