STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
OK. On this Valentine's Day - don't forget it's Valentine's Day - we're going to hear about the flip side of love. Not every relationship works out, of course, and NPR's Lindsay Totty has the story of an album that was almost derailed when two band members divorced.
LINDSAY TOTTY, BYLINE: Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski connected through music.
EMILY CROSS: He came to a show that I was playing, and he liked the music, and he reached out and we started dating after that.
TOTTY: Soon their romantic relationship became an artistic collaboration.
DAN DUSZYNSKI: Started touring and got married, and did a little fairytale rock 'n' roll thing for a while.
TOTTY: They performed together as a duo called Cross Record.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HIGH RISE")
CROSS RECORD: (Singing) So I rise.
TOTTY: And their music impressed an older, more established musician by the name of Jonathan Meiburg.
JONATHAN MEIBURG: I loved the sounds that they made and the songs that they made, which were very mysterious and open-ended.
TOTTY: So Jonathan invited Emily and Dan to make music with him. They started a band and an album called "Loma." But what Jonathan didn't realize was that Emily and Dan's relationship was in trouble.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I DON'T WANT CHILDREN")
LOMA: (Singing) I don't want children, even though if I did, I would want them from you.
TOTTY: In this song, "I Don't Want Children," the singer tells her lover what kind of life she wants but also fantasizes about the road not taken. Emily Cross says these lyrics, which Jonathan wrote, got her thinking about her relationship with Dan.
CROSS: I think what it did was spur that line of thinking, I guess, that way of following different possibilities down, and it injected a reflective atmosphere.
TOTTY: Although Loma's music was coming together beautifully, Emily and Dan's marriage was falling apart.
CROSS: We just realized that our strength was more based in this collaborative relationship as artists together, and that's where our relationship should live, platonically.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHADOW RELIEF")
LOMA: (Singing) I know I cant depend on anyone for what I need.
TOTTY: Dan says it was difficult to finish the album.
DUSZYNSKI: Listening to her singing, I was like, I can't get out of this. Like, I can't escape this. It did seem oppressive to me at first. I had to kind of just lean into it and be like, OK, I'm just going to do this.
TOTTY: And the couple's divorce worried Jonathan.
MEIBURG: I was so excited about this project, and it had been going so well and I knew that would make it difficult to finish. But also, any time your friends break up, you're sad not just for what's happened but also a little bit for the journey that you know they're both going to go on now.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLACK WILLOW")
LOMA: (Singing) Because I rode up to the edge, because the life I lived is dead.
TOTTY: Loma pushed through and finish the record. But, obviously, things can never be as they were. For one, Emily and Dan say they may not work together again as a duo.
CROSS: I will keep writing music if I'm just going to be doing it by myself, or find new people, or I don't know. But it's going to be fine, whatever happens. (Laughter).
TOTTY: For now, Emily, Dan and Jonathan will tour together as Loma. Their new album is out Friday. Lindsay Totty, NPR News.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLACK WILLOW")
LOMA: (Singing) And I'm moving on. I carry a diamond blade.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.