In French, “ludic” is an adjective that means “showing spontaneous and undirected playfulness.” It is also the name of one of Vancouver’s most promising and unique bands making waves during these strange pandemic times.
Made up of co-vocalist and guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe, co-vocalist and bassist Max Cunningham, and his younger brother and drummer Rhett; Ludic is a poppy but genre-bending trio influenced by classic jazz, funk and soul sounds.
The band just released their latest single, “Love Me Like,” and Vancouver Weekly had the chance to speak with Max about the release.
“It’s about one-sided love,” he explains.
“‘Love Me Like’ is kind of about a toxic relationship where the speaker is absolutely enamoured with the other person, but that person isn’t really reciprocating at all. It’s really an internal struggle that the person is experiencing but is not being talked about between the two people.”
The song is dancy, smooth, and groove-driven, and will have the most rigid people tapping their foot to the infectious beat – and maybe even humming to the catchy melodies. “Love Me Like” does not sound like it was recorded in 2020. The 80s-inspired track would not at all be out of place on Prince’s Purple Rain soundtrack. This is ironic considering that the oldest person in the band is 21 and they were all born well after the decade whose music inspires their music so much. While it is yet to be seen if Ludic is releasing an album, “Love Me Like” is sure to create a buzz around the band before they do.
Check out our full Q and A with Max below:
There’s a real 80s vibe to your new song. Were you even around in the 80s?
(Laughs) No, I was born in ’98. I’m not sure where the 80s sound comes from. I grew up listening to a ton of Prince, and Ayla is super influenced by classic rock and funk and soul. Also, I think it comes from modern stuff we listen to that derives from that kind of music and references the 80s sound.
You describe your music as “SOULFUNKJAZZPOP or Alien Motown.” Can you translate that for our audience?
It’s essentially pop music but we have so many other influences too. It’s really kind of a hodgepodge of different sounds. I want to be genreless and not fit into one category.
Ludic doesn’t really fit into one particular genre. Was that intentional?
Not really, it just naturally happened that way. All we did was start writing songs and we found out what we liked through the recording process. We’re all influenced by so many types of music that our sound just turned out that way.
You’re in the band with your younger brother Rhett. What’s that experience like?
It feels super natural actually. It’s super implicit now…we just know what we’re going to do when playing. A lot of things are unsaid and just understood which is really cool. We haven’t gotten mad at each other yet. (Laughs)
Will there be an album following this single?
I don’t know. Right now we’re just going song by song. We’re continuously writing so who knows. I think there’s an album in the future but we’re just focusing on singles for now.