Playful, sexy, and eminently danceable, LOVE GRENADES are a new, unifying force in independent music – in its most literal interpretation. The brainchild of 25-year-old mastermind Elizabeth Wight, LOVE GRENADES is the unlikely beat-driven collision of electro-pop, Italo disco and punk that's winning over audiences in Los Angeles, and as of 2009 as far away as Mexico City and Berlin.
Ever since the band began playing two years ago, Love Grenades have packed LA's hippest venues, including Spaceland, The Echo, The Roxy, and Silverlake Lounge. Tracks such as “Tigers in the Fire” and “Young Lovers” have been on heavy rotation in L.A.'s underground dance clubs well before their official release, in addition to making playlists on radio stations KXLU, KCRW, INDIE 103.1, and KROQ's "Rodney on the ROQ." LA Weekly has called the band “as scorching as they are seductive – a collective soundtrack for making out one-on-one or maxing out with a hundred sweaty strangers on the dance floor.” Metromix Los Angeles concurs, “We've fallen in love with Liz Wight and her Love Grenades. It's easy to do, given her sultry good looks and sleek, dance-poppy tunes.”
Born into a musical family, Elizabeth got her first break at age five, singing on the song “I Love Boys” for the 1989 cult film Teen Witch. Ten years later, inspired by influences as disparate as Antonio Carlos Jobim, X and Nick Drake, she started recording songs in her grandmother's garage, singing over a skeletal backing of a 1980 Linn drum machine and a bass. “I wanted to make bossanova music with a punk feel,” she says. “I loved the rhythm and the melodies. And it was simple – in the same way punk music is.” Thus, the tentative seeds of Love Grenades were planted.
After a stint in college and a couple punk bands, she returned to her drum machine and bass, and began writing and recording the material that would become the first work of Love Grenades in 2006. She posted the songs to MySpace, where her music began building up support among Angeleno music fans and some important friends, including Sam Sparro and his producer Jesse Rogg.
For his part, Rogg was impressed enough by Elizabeth's demos that he offered to release her debut EP on his label, Modus Vivendi. The result was 2008's Tigers in the Fire, a high-energy collection of dance-infused tunes of heartbreak, defiant independence, and life in Los Angeles. The release contains the radio-ready title song along with a number of remixes from producers from all over the world. Of the EP's sound, a mixture of Italo disco beats, funky bass and Wight's inimitable vocal style – a cross between soulful crooning and female rap – she says, “I see that LA is radically divided as to what kind of music is 'cool,' and there are so many different scenes, but I want my music to be very inclusive.”
One would think that an accomplished work such as Tigers in the Fire would be enough for a young up-and-coming starlet like Elizabeth Wight – but the Love Grenades founder has higher aspirations. “Ever since I was young, there's been very little music in pop culture that I felt was inspiring or great for women,” she says. “So I want to be someone in pop culture who'd be there to inspire girls, and help them not feel so alienated. I'm writing for women of all ages, whether they're 15-year old girls or someone in their 40s. In fact, I'd love for anyone to feel inspired by my music.”