Looking for a soundtrack to your amorous endeavors this Valentine's Day and beyond? Look no further than ohsweethearts.com, where individually accomplished, L.A.-based songwriters Priscilla Ahn and Charlie Wadhams, recording under the name Sweet Hearts, have teamed up to deliver a free, five-song gift to lovers everywhere.
Ahn, who has recently released two albums for Blue Note (When You Grow Up and A Good Day) has a warm, welcoming voice, and Wadhams, whose songwriting was featured in Walk Hard, is no vocal slouch either. (He co-wrote "Let's Duet," one of the funniest things in the movie.) Together, they sound like Belle & Sebastian -- minus the twee.
Ahn and Wadhams met when he was brought in to sing background vocals on When You Grow Up, and their connection was cemented when they co-wrote "I Don't Have Time To Be in Love" for that record. The song was meant to be a duet, but her label nixed the idea, so the two decided they'd keep the chemistry going on the side.
"Dear Sweetheart" may be the new EP's most seductive track, but "I'm An Actor, Baby" takes the prize for best back story. The idea for the song came to Ahn after she and her husband, actor Michael Weston, and their friends Sam Trammell (True Blood) and Missy Yager (Mad Men, Boston Public) had a very L.A. conversation about watching one's mate kissing someone else on stage or screen. When Ahn brought Wadhams the beginnings of the song, he took the part of the actor telling his stressed-out mate that she's got to get over her issues with his day job: "You see me tangled in a bedroom scene/Keep in mind it's only make believe/A kiss is different on the silver screen."
"I love the way Charlie writes," says Ahn. "I've written with a lot of other people, but he would say, 'What aspect of love are we writing about? Let's think of all the feelings that come up in that situation.' And then we'd write down key words and things, and throw them into the song. I'd never worked that way before." Wadhams is happy with the collaboration, too, and not just for the two of them. "It might not be a bad idea to have a little backup Sweet Hearts record on hand on Valentine's Day in case a make-out session ensues," he says. "You won't have to think twice about what to put on the stereo. It's a no-brainer."
The decision to give the EP away for free online wasn't purely altruistic, though: the goal is to do some grassroots marketing in the service of future releases. Their manager, Kevin Held, says they've collected 10,000 email addresses so far. If every one of those emailers gets his or her way on this Valentine's Day, Sweet Hearts can count on an audience of 20,000 lovers tonight.