To find out more about Nashville music duo The Lovers, you will have to google your way around a French electronica band of the same name. But once you do, you will be happy you found the gentle Americana sound of Amanda June and Cole Vosbury. The pair met here in Music City following Cole’s appearance on The Voice.
Their solid self-titled debut seven-song EP is out now, and I just can’t get enough of it. I especially enjoy hearing Amanda and Cole vocalize alone and together on the lead track, “Livin’ Life & Killin’ Time.” In addition to sounding so great together, The Lovers have combined their talents to craft some mighty fine songs.
Take notice! You can see and hear The Lovers tonight, March 21, streaming live on Stageit.
A big thanks to Amanda and Cole for giving us two for the price of one in this edition of 11 Questions. Hope to see them live on a Music City stage later this year.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
Cole: I’m from Shreveport-Bossier City, LA. I lived there, just being a working musician until I was 22. That’s when I moved to Nashville. I knew I needed to leave my hometown if there was any chance to see my dreams and aspirations come to fruition. Nashville seemed like the first logical step at the time. I had been coming back and forth since I was 16 and always knew I’d live here at some point. It’s a lot different now than it was then, or even in 2014 when I moved here. It’s changed a lot.
Amanda: I was born and raised in a suburb of Dayton, OH in the same house since I was one. I moved to Nashville in September of 2013, two months after I turned 18. It was my first time moving to another state and leaving the nest for good. Being mainly influenced by country music throughout my teenage years, Nashville had been on my radar as the place where singers went to pursue a career in music and the place to get discovered. I was determined to get to Nashville one way or another and work as hard as I needed to in order to have the life full of music and performing that I had desired.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
Cole: I love buying and listening to music in any format. I collect records, cassettes, 8-track tapes, CDs and VHS tapes. I really geek out over that stuff. I even have a 4-track cassette recorder that I love to use for demos and Lo-fi recordings. The first CD I remember holding in my hand as a little kid was one by Boyz II Men. It was my older brother’s, but I loved it. I’m always buying records by the stack. Especially when I find a $1 bin. The most recent records that I actually sought out intentionally and bought were John Frusciante’s Curtains and Shadows Collide with People, J Dilla’s Donuts LP and Ariel Pink’s Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. Ariel Pink is really cool Avant-pop kind of stuff. John Frusciante’s solo work has been one of the greatest discoveries in music I’ve made in a long time. He is brilliant. Where I buy them is really anywhere I can find them. Thrift stores and antique stores all over the country when we’re out on the road. There’s a place in Lebanon, TN called Lebanon Antique Mall and he has a great selection. I’ve bought hundreds there. CD warehouse in Goodlettsville, Grimey’s, eBay, ReverbLP.com. Anywhere you can find records and tapes that’s where you can find me.
Amanda: To add to what Cole said, we love spending our free time on the road in Flea Markets looking for the next treasure. We find most all of our records, cassettes and 8-tracks in secondhand stores and it’s more exciting to find an album you’ve been searching for in a bin for 99¢. The first CD I vividly remember having and loving was The Very Best of Sheryl Crow. The last steal I found was a Kacey Musgraves’ album, Same Trailer Different Park, for $5 at the Nashville Flea Market. I first fell in love with Kacey’s songwriting and music when I first heard those songs right before moving to Nashville.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
Cole: My dad played with a band that opened for Ronnie Milsap when I was seven or eight. I remember that pretty well. We’ll consider that my first. We went to Bourbon Festival in Louisville this past September just to see Hall & Oates. The crowd was miserable which is why we avoid outdoor festivals, but it was worth it to see Hall & Oates and Robert Plant. We don’t go to many shows because we’re usually playing ourselves and on top of that, I really don’t like crowds.
Amanda: My parents took me to my first concert to see Sheryl Crow at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, OH for my 12th birthday. It was a very influential moment in my life. And see Cole’s answer for the last live concerts I attended.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Cole: I don’t see Willie Nelson’s name on the list and if not, then that is a shame. His name could be the only name on it as far as I’m concerned.
Amanda: Ray Charles 100%. He made a huge contribution to country music in the 60’s and 70’s. In our opinion, he has the greatest voice of all time which isn’t bound by any genre but influenced by all kinds of music and sounds. That is what we most aspire to.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Cole: For coffee I used to love Bongo East when i first moved to town. We also used to frequent Fido quite often. These days we just make our coffee and tea at home, but those two places are awesome. For pizza, Five Points Pizza is a great spot. They have a lot of vegan options which is a plus for us.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Cole: The first albums that come to mind would be Neil Young’s Harvest and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. More recently Lucie Silvas’ E.G.O. and The Brummies’ Eternal Reach. Two great albums.
Amanda: What Cole said. If you haven’t heard of Lucie Silvas you are missing out on one of the greatest voices of our time.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Both: Rosemary & Beauty Queen Bar has an awesome vegan food truck out back and they’re open until at least midnight.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Both: Dave Pahanish, Shawn Mayer and Austin Jenckes.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
Both: There was a place called The Building in East Nash where we met Dave Pahanish and a lot of others. It was a dive bar where you had to bring your own beer and all these incredible people would get up and play one after another and it was an amazing communal feeling. It is now a tattoo parlor, but we will always look back on that place fondly and be forever grateful for it. We just recently played The Bowery Vault which is a clothing store/cafe/original music room, and we had our EP release show there. It’s a really small intimate place which is perfect for us. The sound is great and the chicks that run the place are super cool. Check it out!
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.
Cole: These days I have a hard time championing someone’s desire to move here. It’s over-crowded and no one wants to pay fairly for live music. And if you are getting paid, you’re most likely playing top 40 stuff. If that sounds fulfilling, then I guess Nashville would be the place for you. Nashville could be and should be one of the great art cities of the U.S., but a lot would have to change in my opinion.
Amanda: The only person that comes to mind is Haley Brooke from Shreveport, LA because I don’t get to hear her incredible vocals live enough. But she’s probably making a better living playing outside of Nashville. Check her out!
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Both: We are going to continue to put out as much music as possible and that’s what we are most excited about. We truly believe that that will lead us to the places we are mean to be. We are currently looking forward to touring this new EP throughout the rest of this year.