Introducing Seattle-based La Luz, as they prepare to bring their vibrant surf rock to the UK next month. The band's debut LP 'It's Alive' will be released on the 31st March via Hardly Art backed by a headline tour late March and early April throughout the UK and Europe.
La Luz are Shana Cleveland, Marian Li-Pino, Lena Simon and Alice Sandahl. They formed in 2012 and quickly became known for their stirring harmonies, effortlessly cool surf hooks and meandering bass lines. Their sound recalls the spartan American dream pop of Mazzy Star, the boundless joy of B-52's and rumbling sequences of Link Wray, all executed with knowing 60s girl group charm. Live, they're all about connection: on stage they play as much for each other as for the audience, often resulting in most of the crowd (and sometimes the keyboard player) dancing down the centre line of a soul train.
Recorded with their friend and engineer Johnny Goss in a steamy trailer park last spring, 'It's Alive' was released in October in the US on Hardly Art and gets its official UK release this March. From the first get-psyched drum roll and eerie chords of 'Sure As Spring', the dinged-up pop gem that opens the album, the rest moves like a slow drive on a dangerous road, slinking and bending as the terrain shifts. Smack in the middle is the title track, 'It's Alive'; a jangly rocker with a spooky refrain and marauding narrative that nails down the misty logic of the rest of the album. Two instrumentals, 'Sunstroke' and 'Phantom Feelings', showcase the band's beach jam surf chops, and fall perfectly between the chilled out heartache that surrounds them.
In Spanish, La Luz means "light" and that's the perfect thing to evoke when your songs give the illusion of veering in the opposite direction. But lift out almost any lyric-a good excuse to give a closer listen to the delicate, four-part harmonies that are quickly becoming the band's signature-and you'll find that the aches and pains of love and loss, of living in a world where no foothold is ever a promise. All this is delivered with a nuanced dose of perfectly timed exhilaration, like the whole thing might just be worth it in the end.
La Luz UK + European live dates:
27th March - La Lune Des Pirates, Amiens, France
28th March - La Machine du Moulin Rouge, Paris, France
29th March - Kliko Festival, Haarlem, The Netherlands
30th March - Green Door Store, Brighton - get tickets
31st March - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - get tickets
1st April - Mono, Glasgow - get tickets
2nd April - Gullivers Bar, Manchester - get tickets
3rd April - The Windmill, Brixton, London - get tickets
4th April - STUK Kunstencentrum, Leuven, Belgium (with Angel Olsen)
5th April - Motel Mozaique Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
7th April - El Lokal, Zürich, Switzerland
8th April - Bad Bonn, Dudlingen, Switzerland
9th April - La Dynamo, Toulouse, France
10th April - Sidecar, Barcelona, Spain
11th April - Charade, Madrid, Spain
12th April - Guardeche, San Sebastián, Spain
14th April - Raindogs, Savona, Italy
15th April - Rocket, Milano, Italy
16th April - Manufaktur, Schorndorf, Germany
17th April - Monarch, Berlin, Germany
18th April - Astra-stube, Hamburg, Germany
19th April - Instant Karma @ De Grote Post, Oostende, Belgium
It's Monday morning and my bones hurt. I'm tired, hung-over, and there's a slight ringing in my ears.
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