Singer-songwriter Matthew Kaner owes it all to wine – well, his band name Liquid Love Letter, anyway, not to mention his alliances with many of the people who inspired and collaborated on LLL’s debut album “If/Then,” released today. The seeds of Kaner’s earnest, finely honed Americana, which recalls a duskier Grant-Lee Phillips, were planted when he moved to L.A. in 2006 and, confronted by a crowded singer-songwriter scene, found himself working at Silverlake Wine. Wine bars, as he’ll tell you now, are no finer places to meet artists, and Kaner made friends. He got started in earnest on Liquid Love Letter after an “ah-hah” moment in the movie “Blood Into Wine,” a documentary about musician/vintner Maynard James Kennan. In 2010, with Chris Testa (Dixie Chicks, Jimmy Eat World) handling production, Kaner began making an album that would feature appearances by John Gold, drummers Joey Waronker and Aaron Sterling (John Mayer, Natasha Bedingfield, Sara Bareilles and more), My Morning Jacket’s Bo Koster, M83’s Morgan Kibby, Everest’s Jason Soda, Erik Arvinder, David Kalish and Ben Peeler. It’s a record of sweeping anthems, tender confessionals and soulful twang. A good soundtrack for a wine bar? Maybe, and maybe a little more.
||| Download: “Everyone Said”
||| Live: Liquid Love Letter opens for Duniven on Wednesday night at the Bootleg Theater.
Photo by Grant James