Candy Hearts signs to Bridge Nine

Band named first artist on New Found Glory guitarists’ label, Violently Happy Records.


Singer-guitarist Mariel Loveland may be the only woman compelled to give Ryan Gosling the finger.

“I watched ‘The Notebook’ and I was giving it the middle finger the whole time,” Loveland, 24, of Ramsay, N.J., said. “But I watched [‘Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless’] three-part special on Netflix and every time I watch those tour movies it’s like a countdown to how long it will be until I start crying. I never, never cry during movies, but legitimately like three minutes in, I was in tears.”

Loveland is one-fourth of the New Jersey/New York based pop-punk band Candy Hearts, comprised of Kris Hayes on guitar, Christian Migliorese on bass and Matt Ferraro on drums.

The band, which has been together for two years, began a 13-stop fall tour with Boston band Daybreaker on Sept. 21. On Sunday, Sept. 23, Candy Hearts stopped in Philly to play at The Fire on Girard Avenue with Heartwell, an indie punk four-piece band from New Jersey, and Philly bands Cayetano and Catnaps.

The band’s new EP “The Best Ways to Disappear,” scheduled for a Nov. 6 release, will be the first off New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert’s record label Violently Happy Records, an imprint off Bridge Nine Records.

In addition to Swift, Loveland said the band’s musical influences include the Weakerthans, Lemonheads, Gin Blossoms, Best Coast and fellow Bridge Nine band Lemuria.

In a statement announcing the release, Gilbert described Candy Hearts’ sound as, “truthful lyrics sung to a sweet, honest melody over a 90s-alt-rock-meets-east-bay-gritty-punk-rhythm. The female front women [Loveland] reveals a lot in her lyrics that I think will give music fans a place to go when they need to feel like they’re not alone.”

“I feel like my lyrics are very internal thoughts,” said Loveland, who graduated from SUNY Purchase with a degree in creative writing and minor in studio composition. “There are a lot of songs about feeling nervous in relationships, realizing that you’re not helping yourself feel better and not doing things that are right for you but you do them anyway.”

The songwriting process for Loveland starts acoustically, as she writes all the songs before arranging them with her bandmates. “The Best Ways to Disappear” was written during a period of reflection in Loveland’s life, but doesn’t musically stray away from the pop-punk and ‘90s influences the band has in their former full-length releases, “Ripped up Jeans and Silly Dreams” in March 2010 and “Everything’s Amazing & Nobody’s Happy” in September 2011.

Both former full-lengths were released on CD, with the latter also available on cassette. Loveland said that vinyl for “Everything’s Amazing & Nobody’s Happy” was pressed and will eventually be available for purchase.

“When I wrote a lot of these songs [for ‘The Best Ways to Disappear’] I came right back from a tour and a lot of stuff happened in a lot of different areas of my life,” she said. “I didn’t have any work at the time, so I just stayed in my apartment to try and write. I thought about my life and the people in it.”

“It might sound totally lame, but you realize things about yourself when you’re just sitting there thinking about it, and those are the kinds of things I tried to write down,” she added. “A lot of the record deals with people who disappear and then pop up again like nothing happened, and also disappearing to yourself — kind of like a brain-body disconnect in a way.”

Loveland said those familiar with Candy Hearts will hear a cleaner sound from the upcoming release, since it was studio produced as opposed to the DIY recordings the band has previously done in her basement.

A four-song acoustic EP was released digitally in June on their Bandcamp to help finance plane tickets for a 10-day Los Angeles trip to record with Gilbert, who discovered the band through Twitter.

“I thought I would hate [Los Angeles] because I’m very much a New Yorker, New Jersey person where I’m like, ‘Why are you all walking so slow, get out of my way,’” said Loveland, who has been a New Found Glory fan from a young age. “We were late getting to the studio one day because of traffic and we were beeping and cursing out the window and we call [Gilbert] and he’s like, ‘Oh me too, whatever’ — it’s just different.”

Candy Hearts will be joining New Found Glory for the East Coast dates of its “Sticks and Stones” 10-year anniversary tour, which includes a stop in Philly at the Theater of the Living Arts on Dec. 9.

“I remember last year going to see them play and I was backstage with [Gilbert] and Hayley [Williams] and the guys, and they were walking out because they were leaving and I walked across the stage and was like, ‘I wonder what this looks like with people out there,’” she said. “I hope it’s not too frightening.”

“‘Sticks and Stones’ was the album of my childhood that got me into really, really loving music,” she added. “When I was old enough to decide what records I wanted to buy, it was that record and I remember listening to it on repeat over and over, so I’m so super thrilled to be able to go on that tour.”

Prior to the winter tour with New Found Glory, Candy Hearts will be playing Fest 11 in Gainesville, Fla., at the end of October and doing an 11-show tour with Citizen and State Champs beginning Nov. 8. The tour includes four shows in Canada where Loveland said the only thing scheduled into the itinerary so far is a stop at St. Catharines, Ontario vegan restaurant and bakery Rise Above — a fitting stop for a candy-named band.

“I’m thrilled for the EP to come out,” Loveland said. “I feel like these songs out of all the other songs I’ve written in my life are so much more of myself than ever before.”

Cara Stefchak can be reached at or on Twitter @CaraStefchak.

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