Enough About You – 8 Questions About L.O.V.E.

enough about you

Enough About You is an international musical duo whose origins date back thirty years, to post-USSR Saint Petersburg. The project is the brainchild of composer/producer Mark Roper, and lyricist Sean Cosgrove. Their decades-long friendship ultimately grew into a musical collaboration.

Years in the making Album of a Nobody is the debut LP from Enough About You. The ten-song set is the product of a cross-Atlantic effort. Although a UK-native, Roper lives in Canada while Cosgrove is based in London. 

“L.O.V.E.” is Enough About You’s current single from Album of a Nobody, available worldwide via all major streaming services.  An uptempo acoustic guitar introduces the track as the beat lands on a funky retro alt-pop groove. On the mic, the singer combines the conversational tone of folk-punk protest icon Billy Bragg with the personal emotional narrative writing style of Morrissey to tell a clever tale of love on the rocks. Musically the track brings to mind another Brit-pop legend, recalling the classic pop/jazz leanings of Paul Weller and The Jam.

Check out “L.O.V.E.” below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the song on the Deep Dive : Pop & Rock playlist. Download Album of a Nobody at Bandcamp. We had the chance to chat with Mark Roper about the album. Check out his answers to our 8 questions below. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with Enough About You.

8 Questions with Mark Roper of Enough About You

Where are you from?

I am originally from the northwest of the UK, then Scotland for several years, then lived and worked short-term in different parts of Europe, but now resident in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada. My song-writing partner, Sean (lyricist), lives in London, UK, so we have a ‘long-distance’ collaboration. We met in Saint Petersburg in the mid 90s, when we were undergrads, studying Russian.

How long have you been making music?

I’ve been playing piano (self-taught / by ear) on and off since my early teens – been composing tunes for around 20 years in my very limited spare time. This album has been in the works for years! I have been doing bits and pieces on it, as and when I could afford to. Enough About You isn’t really a band in the traditional sense of the word. Live performances of some of our songs have been given, but never the original studio line-up. I guess we are perhaps more of a couple of song-writers with a professionally put together ‘demo’ album, looking to find an audience. Let’s see what happens.

Who are the musicians involved in Enough About You?

A friend of mine, ‘Reg’, is a freelance guitarist – he helped me assemble a pro-session band for recording the album: bass, keys, drums, and guitar. I play a couple of piano solos and some ‘additional keys’ on some of the album tracks. The singer, David, is also British – found him through an old high school friend, who also put me in touch with the “producer” (both of whom I hired for the remixing/remastering of the re-release).

Who are your biggest musical influences?

I grew up in a house where classical music was the default (my dad), and trad jazz (my sister), but was also “influenced” (I guess) by anything that was melodic. I am fairly catholic / eclectic in my musical tastes: from folk to electro and a lot of things in between. There are VERY few artists (none, in fact) of whom I could say I like everything they have ever done.

Growing up I liked songs by, for example: ELO, Bowie, Queen, The Police, The Kinks, The Pretenders, INXS, Then Jerico, Alphaville, ABBA, The Cure and many other things in the pop, rock, jangly guitar, 80s synth pop, indie vein. I later came to artists like Nick Drake, Tom Waits, The Divine Comedy and Rufus Wainwright. Did they influence me musically ? I don’t know. I guess one is, by definition, influenced by anything to which one is exposed, although I am not sure anyone would hear any of these “influences” in the album we have ended up with. I tend to write melodies and harmonies that are simply musically pleasing to my ear. I also like thoughtful, ironic or humorous, audible (ie. not mumbled) lyrics. Less keen on cheesy, clichéd lyrics, but this latter point is not necessarily a deal-breaker. I’m open to everything and anything but I usually decide fairly quickly if it’s my cup of tea or not.

What is your greatest non-musical influence?

I really don’t know. All the usual stuff, I suppose: parents, siblings, school, friends and failed relationships, but also, at the risk of sounding pretentious, travel, books, and the natural world.

What inspired you to create Enough About You?

I met Sean (in Russia). We got on very well and used to (mainly Sean) write musical parodies together. It became a ‘hobby’ and I then realised that I wanted to pursue it further and ‘give it (composition) a go’. It’s a lot of fun. Did Enough About You succeed? That’s for others to say, not me. I like and am proud of what we have done but, having been with these songs through all their different incarnations over the years, I guess I kind of lost some objective judgement a long time ago. I can’t wait to start trying to write some new material. Even if inspiration doesn’t come directly, I still find it’s a great way to switch off from, and tune out of my other working and domestic lives. It’s a good antidote to some of the stresses of modern life, and, depending what kind of mood I am in, it can go in different directions. I think we have a lot more that we want to say, lyrically and musically.

What are your plans for the future of Enough About You?

I want to have a go at a second album for Enough About You. I have far more options now. When we started this project, the internet existed, of course, but it was by no means a given that everyone had such easy access to it. Now one can do almost anything with it (eg. hire a session musician to do just a 20 second remotely recorded solo, without him/her having to travel to a studio for a whole or half day). Being an independent musician / songwriter these days is more achievable and more affordable than ever, in many respects. However, this very fact has, in turn, created many more thousands of aspirational artists, in a saturated world of independent hopefuls, which means that finding an audience may be even more difficult than ever before.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

The Enough About You album, lyrically speaking, loosely tells the story of the (sort of demi-semi-autobiographical) up and down life journey of a young man: the initial romantic break up and looking for and failing to find a suitable someone new (“Same Old”), through hoping that he’ll get his confidence and social abilities back and come out of his shell (“Camberwell”), finding someone new (“Haven’t Quite Managed”) but being unsure (“Stop Meaning So Much”) if it’s the right thing. Then finally it happens (“Real Live Girlfriend”), and from now on this is a new chapter (“Future”), telling the ex to take a hike (“Going With Jennifer Now”), having a baby (“Lullaby”), then breaking up again (“L.O.V.E.”) and wanting to move on, but at least isn’t still living where he grew up (“Crazytown”), as that would be hell.

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