Pablos Choice – Record Of The Week 11/05/2018 – La Luz – Floating Features
11th May 2018
Floating Features as recieved glowing reviews, heres a few below…
Psych-rock is often a nostalgic genre, firmly rooted in the traditions of decades past. La Luz know this, so their third album, Floating Features, looks both ahead and backwards. On Floating Features, the band take classic psych attributes—dreamy melodies, swirling vocals, surf riffs—and repurpose them to create a collection that is classic, but also current, placing their distinctly modern perspective squarely in the limelight.
Floating Features finds La Luz—singer/guitarist Shana Cleveland, drummer Marian Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl, and bassist Lena Simon—relocating from Seattle to Los Angeles. Now that Hollywood is their home, it’s fitting that Floating Features includes references to movement and travel, and overall, cultivates the vintage feel of a B-movie soundtrack. The album’s title track, a soaring instrumental opener, sets the scene for adventure, and fully embraces 60s kitsch via heavy organ, snappy beats and intricate, knotty riffs.
La Luz walk the line between their trusted surf-noir and a heavier dose of spaghetti western with a tremendous sure-footing on third album Floating Features
An elevated level of bravado is present from the outset on La Luz’s third album, Floating Features. The gaze of the L.A. quartet’s previous offerings, Weirdo Shrine and It’s Alive, was directed almost solely towards the darker side of surf-rock with the odd flirtatious glance at acid western. However, their latest venture embraces the spiralling spaghetti sound with a greater might and fuses it with that scuzzy beach vibe that they sell so well.
The album’s eponymous inaugural track is a dastardly defiant ditty, rife with twanging steel, a trembling organ and cutting percussion; the only thing preventing it from soundtracking a dusty gunslinging odyssey is a Mexican horn climax. Henceforth, the La Luz ladies flex their instrumental and tonal refinement to trophy levels.
Third album from Surf-noir quartet and possibly the one which sees them break through into the mainstream. Hopefully not says Ged Babey who likes to keep the very best bands a ‘secret that only cool people know’.
If you only buy one album this summer, then this is the one. It is absolutely perfect in every way. (Well, if you like a cocktail of Dream-pop & Surf-punk, shaken but not stirred,,,).
Even the PR speil should win awards …. Bewitching and rapturous honeyed harmonies, seismic crescendos, and a somnambulist soundscape. propulsive jetstreams of distorted surf guitar. dreamstate imagery, a coterie of surreal figures; gargantuan cicadas, a monstrous “Creature,” The Sun King, aliens, the titular “Lonely Dozer” and “Greed Machine,” a skulking, insatiable engine of consumption…
If you have listened to BBC Radio 6-Music at all in April then you won’t have escaped the sound of La Luz. (a variety of pronunciations La Looth or La Looz …)
It’s impossible to listen to La Luz’s third album and not reference Quentin Tarantino and Link Wray. The L.A. quartet’s shimmering surf music immediately conjures images of pool parties attended by impossibly cool people. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and these eleven tracks are far removed from the genre’s standard of girls and cars. Inspired by the physical and psychological landscape of dreams, they create a world that’s as surreal as their Dali-meets-Little-Shop-Of-Horrors sleeve design.
‘Loose Teeth’, which is all distorted guitars and girl group harmonies, finds lead vocalist Shana Cleveland ‘lost in a dream’ that’s elsewhere populated by B-movie giant cicadas and lysergically fuelled space travel.
Their surf noir isn’t quite as trippy as their lyrics but nor is it as retro reductionist as it might appear on first play.
Those familiar with Weirdo Shrine will know that La Luz are more than retro-chic surf rock. Although hailing from Seattle (or is that hailing in Seattle?) their sensibilities are midway between the Californian coastline and the border of Mexico, with some of the best four part harmonies you’re likely to hear this side of the Shangri-Las.
Floating Features throws further light on the estimable talents of a group that focus keenly on the line that draws articulated guitar lines and luscious harmonies into perfect relief. It’s really cool stuff, generating nostalgia for 1960s girl groups, but also implying something more left-field and ever so slightly punk. If Tarantino is as hip as he makes out, he’d be onto these guys faster than tumbleweed crosses desert trails. True it is that tracks like ‘The Creature’ have a languid flow more in keeping with ruminative thought, but when they kick out on ‘Cicada’ for instance, they carry all the indie-pop menace necessary for cinematic evocations. Check out the radio performance below, even if your attention span can’t reach beyond three minutes, you’ll find La Luz laying down some mellifluous harmonies that will keep you
Watch The Video For Cicada Below