Lake Street Dive are to release their debut album Bad Self Portraits in the UK on May 5 through Signature Sounds/Yep Roc Records. The announcement follows the band's success in the US, which has included a sold out performance at New York's Carnegie Hall, guest appearances on The Colbert Report and The Late Show with David Letterman, and a cameo appearance in the new series of House Of Cards. As part of an extensive fifteen date tour of Europe, Lake Street Diveplay the UK for the first time in May, including London's Bush Hall on Thursday, May 8.
Lake Street Dive have been performing for nearly a decade after meeting as fellow students at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The band was hand picked by Minneapolis trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson and named after an actual neighborhood of seedy bars in his hometown. Vocalist Rachael Price came from outside Nashville, Tennessee, stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney was an Iowa native, while drummer Mike Calabrese called Philadelphia home.
It took a casually made video featuring the band gathered around a single mic, performing a cover of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," shot on a Brighton, Massachusetts, street corner to grab the public's attention-its YouTube views now passing a million views. What followed was nothing less than a modern-day music business success story-T Bone Burnett tapping them to perform on the Another Day, Another Time show featuring music from and inspired by the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, taped for an upcoming special on Showtime.
The New Yorker raved of their performance: "I can't imagine then, that Lake Street Dive-a quartet led by an amazing young singer, Rachael Price-won't be getting some air time soon." Rolling Stone called the band "unexpected showstoppers," while Hollywood Reporter noted the group "delivered one of the show's best moments with the swinging 'You Go Down Smooth,' with stirring vocals by lead singer Rachael Price." The New York Daily News was similarly enthused, saying Lake Street Dive "was the evening's wild card," and noting Price "has the soulful howl of a young Etta James.
The new album, Bad Self Portraits, which is being released by the Northampton, Massachusetts indie label Signature Sounds Recording is a microcosm of Lake Street Dive's evolution of the band from "a weird alt-country jazz group to an alt-soul juggernaut, that turns '60s influences like Brill Building girl groups ("Stop Your Crying"), British Invasion rock ("Bobby Tanqueray"), horn-driven Stax R&B ("You Go Down Smooth"), Motown soul ("Use Me Up") and even The Band-like gospel blues ("What About Me").
All four members of the band take part in the writing. The Bridget-penned title track is a wry commentary on how those selfie iPhone photos are just a cover for loneliness, but it could also refer to the rest of the album, each song a polaroid glimpse of a band that is constantly evolving.
And as things are rapidly growing for Lake Street Dive, the nine years that they spent focusing on their musical development has left them with one constant to strive for. "We are named in homage to dive bar bands," says Calabrese, "we were, are and always will be a dive bar band. Whether we're playing for 10 people or 10,000 we want them to have that feeling."
Lake Street Dive - UK Dates:
Sunday, May 4 Cheltenham Jazz Festival Cheltenham
Monday, May 5 Glee Club Birmingham
Thursday, May 8 Bush Hall London
Friday, May 9 Bush Hall London
(Photo by Jarrod McCabe)