Roll It Back
Love Me My Alien
Outrun the Light 6:530:00/6:53
"Full of charm and nuggets of 90s nostalgia" - It's All Indie
"... conjures a feeling of yearning escapism within a hypnotic rock sound" - Obscure Sound
There is a warm glow that hangs in the rooms where the members of Love Me My Alien make jokes and manifest music in equal measure. One of those rooms is a home studio - a modest space with some instruments, amps, and a couple of swirling lava lamps for the vibe. The gear is all vintage, well-preserved, and high quality. The same can be said of its inhabitants.
The glow is full of creative energy. It gathers in the ether on Wednesday nights when the guys get together to write. The whole atmosphere is very welcoming - open to new songs, and new ideas, without any judgment, or lack of direction.
This energy is what made the space the perfect launchpad for Justin DiFebbo, Anthony Montesano, and Michael Montesano to start their first band together, even after more than twenty years of friendship and occasional musical collaborations. After wrapping up a recent stint performing keys, guitar, and vocals together in The Underground Thieves, they suddenly found themselves with lots of unfinished songs and a strong desire to bounce ideas off of each other.
“I’ve always been looking for other songwriters to partner with,” says Justin. “I can come up with loads of ideas, but Mike and Anthony are amazing at reeling them in."
Anthony Montesano and Michael Montesano - “the Brothers” as they are lovingly nicknamed by almost everyone they know - are creative partners in only the way siblings and lifelong bandmates could be. They’re each multi-instrumentalists, and their abilities to harmonize are so perfectly balanced that it becomes a real trick trying to discern between the two.
The Brothers have a long and storied career playing music together, most visibly in Pepper's Ghost, a band they started with friends in Philadelphia in the early 2000s. After signing with Hybrid Records, the band worked with legendary producer and engineer, Andy Johns (The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Television), to create their debut album, Shake the Hand that Shook the World. The first single from the album, "You're in My Heart (Little Pretty),” soared to #1 on the Canadian Billboard charts and landed in the Top 5 on the U.S. Billboard Charts.
Today, the Brothers operate more as a unit, writing and performing songs together. Their ability to relay coherent, complex musical ideas to one another is so sharp and well-honed that they can practically do it telepathically now, often instructing or reassuring each other through just a single glance whenever words won’t work. Yet each brother attributes Love Me My Alien’s recent successful launch in part to DiFebbo’s keen musical ideas and sense of direction.
“Since we started the band, we’ve been on the move,” says Michael. “No more imagining what a song’s going to sound like. We get in Justin’s studio and we lay it down, and that has helped in so many ways of moving on from a song and allowing more ideas to flow.”
“Getting the sound and tone right - that’s Justin’s department,” adds Anthony. “I rely on Justin to laser focus and bring our perceived thoughts to life.”
In Justin, they found a welcoming host with an equally impressive multi-instrumentalist background. The studio in his house sits alongside a space he and others fondly refer to as the “vibe room” - the second of the two rooms where creative energy hangs heavy. It’s an authentically calm and inviting shrine to music and the sharing of common inspirations. It’s clear to see how these twin environments fostered this partnership and drove it productively.
Justin’s own earlier project, K-Floor, also began in Philadelphia. He has released award-winning music as a solo artist and is a member of the indie collective, Summer Fiction.
“I don't think it ever crossed our minds, twenty years ago, to try and write together,” Justin says. “I probably wouldn’t have been ready for it back then anyway. The music we’re writing now has such strong melodic hooks and rich harmonies, which is something I’ve always admired about the Brothers and their approach to songwriting.”
Justin and the Brothers have shared lots of ideas seshing together in the vibe room, but the driving force that actually got them to go track it in the studio came from a close friend and creative producer Don Welsh. Outside of his life in music, Don leads a private equity firm and focuses on growth and technology. Don’s passion for music and entrepreneurial spirit make him the Mickey - the cutman - to their Rocky Balboa. It helps the band refine their ideas into something that all fits together.
“It was Donny’s positive force and insight that really guided us over that hurdle of “Wow” this is something that we really can get accomplished,” says Michael.
Anthony puts it right out there. “Donny boy was the person to make it a reality.”
The band plans to independently release its first EP, Roll it Back, in the spring of 2023. Their sound is both humble and grounded, yet adventurous, and evokes a number of styles from British new wave to the soulful singer/songwriters of the 1970s, all matched with those infamous Montesano vocal harmonies. It’s hard not to want to call it space rock. True to form, none of the songs on the EP are downers - even at their most introspective, the songs are full of love and hope rather than anguish and despair.
The band is working on lining up performances in the future and is already writing their next album. To sharpen their skills, the band moved into Noisy Little Critter Studios - a very cool and atmospheric private space in southeastern Pennsylvania - and recorded their debut single, "Trouble About You." The band released the song and its first music video to great response and then doubled down and entered the song into this year’s prestigious NPR Tiny Desk Contest.
When asked about their aims for the future, they all share very practical goals.
“Record everything we possibly can,” says Anthony. “It’s time to get it out for people to hear it,” Michael adds. “A publishing company getting behind us would really push the envelope forward.”
Justin is keen to do “a lot more writing and recording. Being as creative as possible and getting new music out in the world.” He added, “Hearing our songs in a movie would be cool.”
Don sees only possibilities and potential.
“We’ve just started to scratch at it,” he says. “We just started digging. I don't know what we’ll find, but the story has already been written. It’s just time to discover it. All we need is a few more Wednesday nights.”
Love Me My Alien is:
Justin DiFebbo - Keys, Guitar, Vocals
Anthony Montesano - Guitar, Vocals
Michael Montesano - Guitar, Vocals
Don Welsh - Creative Direction
Debut EP is available for preorder now on our BandCamp page and iTunes. Official release date is May 23, 2023.