Release Date: May 11, 2018
Record label: Hardly Art
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
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.
La Luz had their formula firmly in place on their debut album, 2013's It's Alive, and they're a group who've managed to grow and mature without major changes to their aural signature. Their fusion of vintage surf sounds, garage rock, and smart indie pop sounded clever and well-crafted right out of the box, and there's been a certain sense of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" in their subsequent recordings. That said, their third full-length, 2018's Floating Features, is a step forward from their first two albums, if not an especially dramatic one.
Since 2015, the Seattle-formed La Luz - fronted by vocalist and guitarist Shana Cleveland, alongside drummer Marian Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl and bassist Lena Simon - have been based in LA, a mecca of shiny studio production. On 'Floating Features' a hi-fi LA sound has taken hold, and the DIY values of the band's 2013 debut 'It's Alive' and 2015 follow-up 'Weirdo Shrine' have been left behind in favour of shinier production, stripping the tracks of the trio’s charming authenticity. Nonetheless, they still bathe themselves in the woozy psychedelia they've always held close.