From New Orleans With Love
Covered in Dust
There’s a pretty thin line between successful throwback style and being a total hack. Synth, reverb and a drum machine are nearly staples for indie bands today, leaving many struggling to find their voice amidst played-out, predictable hooks and arrangements.
Louisiana trio Kindest Lines are able to use these ’80s redux tools to do more than pay tribute to an era of music. Sure, innovation may not be their highest priority – but solid songwriting appears to be. With their debut LP Covered in Dust their talent is framed in crisp, dynamic production.
They play the soundtrack of an ’80s nightclub, one complete with fog machines and lasers. This stuff is meant to make you move, at its darkest becoming an introverted dance party. Brittany Terry sings simple melodies over vintage synth sound, leaving space for notes to reverberate over electronic percussive hits. Terry’s voice avoids oversaturation of loops and effects; what is added brings warmth to the electronic hazy haze.
While far from perfect (“No Perfect Focus” is a tad homogenous), the trio manages to pull off a strong debut. Their layers of keyboard and guitar over steady drum loops build beautiful, at times melancholic, ambiances for the dance floor. With reverb, clapper hits and a pretty voice it will be interesting to see where this foundation will take them.
The latest from Caddywhompus is a continuation of their rough, catchy sound. Released on Saturday, The Weight further solidifies the duo’s brand of treble-heavy noise pop.
The Texas-turned-New Orleans based musicians’ new EP has all the familiar elements of their sound, packed into four solid tracks. Chris Rehm’s vocals cut through his guitar’s feedback and distortion, still sounding like Perry Farrell through a pipe bomb microphone. Sean Hart’s drumming more than supports the song structure, it provides the dynamics and versatility that makes this sound work.
All the time that these two musicians have spent making music together becomes evident on this record. They can jump from the dancey to the ambient in a matter of seconds, and always hold onto a wholly original sound while drawing influence from across the board.
The Weight‘s centrepiece ends up being seven-minute long “The Others,” a track that fits the band’s whole dynamic range into one song. It begins with a rare sighting of clean guitar before falling into an upbeat groove, then morphing into its crashing, noisy end. A couple Avey Tare-like screams are thrown in as its lo-fi energy bursts at the seams.
It’s tension and release in its barest form, garage rock for the twinkle enthusiast. Caddywhompus have something special going on, and hopefully this record is a mark of big things to come.