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Premiere: New York Duo Romance Shares Nostalgic 'Chapters (of Love)' Video

Premiere: New York Duo Romance Shares Nostalgic 'Chapters (of Love)' Video


"It's a day in the life of a hopeless romantic New Yorker looking for love."

"Everybody's looking for the same thing," sings queer vocalist TC Milan of rising New York duo Romance, referencing the dreamy idealistic love that only appears "on the silver screen." With production by collaborator Yung Diamnd, "Chapters (of Love)" is an appropriately nostalgic single, introducing the '80s lo-fi sound of Romance's forthcoming debut album.

TC, who's also in AVAN LAVA and Crush Club, first met Yung Diamnd on a songwriting retreat with AVAN LAVA's Lev Chev, who mixed and mastered "Chapters (of Love)." The two shared a natural understanding of music, and eventually wrote and recorded most of their seven-track album in one studio session. Previously released Romance tracks include "Paradise" and "Man Enough," and the full LP is due out later this year.

Romance produced the "Chapters (of Love)" music video on a slim $10 budget, using an old camcorder they borrowed from a friend. Set against Yung Diamnd's Prince-imbued synth production, the clip sees TC looking for love all around NYC--even in Times Square, though we're confident he didn't find it there.

Watch the OUT premiere of "Chapters (of Love)" and learn more about Romance, below.

OUT: How did you two meet?

TC Milan: Travis (Yung Diamnd) and I met through my other music partner, Le Chev. Le Chev and I created AVAN LAVA while he and Trav were making music as Narcisse. Trav came with us to Vermont on our first AVAN LAVA writing retreat and we became fast friends. Later, there was a week when we found ourselves alone together in NYC with access to Ian Pai's studio (member of AVAN LAVA), [and] we made this entire album in that short period.

Yung Diamnd: That first writing trip to Vermont felt really cool. I was inspired by TC's quick melody ideas and attention to detail in terms of creating song concepts. I've collaborated with people, and sometimes it's super smooth and sometimes it just isn't a good match. TC and I find satisfaction from similar melody lines, and he can usually take any idea I have and make it better. So taking advantage of our time to make some songs together was a no brainer.

What's the collaboration process like between you two?

TC: Usually Trav makes a beat and I find the melody, and then together we write the lyric. It's always fast and easy with us. We finish each other's sentences [and] read each other's emotional vibes.

Yung D: [One] time I'd been sitting at a piano for like a week trying to play "Limit To Your Love" [by Feist], and I really liked the chords, started playing around and came up with our song, "Romance." I think it was the next week we had that studio time and just ended up making five more tracks.

Lyrically, what's the story behind "Chapters (of Love)"?

TC: You can't force love; you can't decide how it happens or what it does to you. Love is this enigmatic thing that we're always trying to obtain. When it finds us it's nothing like we imagined it would be. "Chapters (of Love)" is about surrendering to the delicate process of love.

TC, you're also in AVAN LAVA and Crush Club. How do you differentiate Romance from your other music projects?

TC: Romance is the project that takes its time. These songs are about my truest, deepest feelings about love. Trav is sensitive like me, so there's never any judgement in the creative process. Honestly, Romance is still evolving and I can't wait to see what happens with it.

Who directed the "Chapters (of Love)" music video?

TC: We made the video in one day for $10. We borrowed a camcorder from my bestie, Drew Citron [of Beverly] and wandered around the city. It's a day in the life of a hopeless romantic New Yorker looking for love.

Yung D: I really like this style of bootleg video. It reminds me of high school projects that almost felt awkward to watch. We did this one really quick and had a fun time doing it. We got the Times Square shot. [We] would love to have more people involved and maybe even acting in our next one, but, for now, it felt cool to do a video totally within our means.

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