11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

This female quartet from Seattle have concocted a perfect brew of Mazzy Star–meets–surf music on their full-length debut, It’s Alive. A few songs appeared earlier in 2013 on their Damp Face EP: “Sure as Spring,” a high-energy, haunting tune with reverb-marinated guitars imparting a melancholic air, and the ‘50s-style doo-wop track “Call Me in the Day.” Others, like the Duane Eddy–inflected “All the Time” and the warm, keyboard-driven “Morning High,” make their debut here, as do the cinematic “Big Big Blood” and the frothy-yet-chilling “Pink Slime.” Vintage keyboards lend La Luz a certain noir-ish intrigue, which makes beautiful bedfellows with their lilting vocals (all the members sing) and echoing, moody guitars. “You Can Never Know” has an oozing charm that feels like a slowed-down Cramps number, churning with feminine mystique. Instrumentals like “Sunstroke” and “Phantom Feelings” unfurl with an impressive bit of fret and key work. The best part about La Luz (their name means “the light”) is that these women are young and just getting started.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This female quartet from Seattle have concocted a perfect brew of Mazzy Star–meets–surf music on their full-length debut, It’s Alive. A few songs appeared earlier in 2013 on their Damp Face EP: “Sure as Spring,” a high-energy, haunting tune with reverb-marinated guitars imparting a melancholic air, and the ‘50s-style doo-wop track “Call Me in the Day.” Others, like the Duane Eddy–inflected “All the Time” and the warm, keyboard-driven “Morning High,” make their debut here, as do the cinematic “Big Big Blood” and the frothy-yet-chilling “Pink Slime.” Vintage keyboards lend La Luz a certain noir-ish intrigue, which makes beautiful bedfellows with their lilting vocals (all the members sing) and echoing, moody guitars. “You Can Never Know” has an oozing charm that feels like a slowed-down Cramps number, churning with feminine mystique. Instrumentals like “Sunstroke” and “Phantom Feelings” unfurl with an impressive bit of fret and key work. The best part about La Luz (their name means “the light”) is that these women are young and just getting started.

TITLE TIME
2:23
2:48
4:05
3:51
1:32
3:37
3:09
3:19
2:23
2:20
4:13

About La Luz

Proving that depth and fun don't need to be mutually exclusive, La Luz are an all-female quartet who fuse the harmonies of doo wop and girl group pop with the splashy guitars of surf music, the low-budget keyboards of '60s garage rock, and the simple but snappy rhythms of first-era rock & roll with lyrics that speak from the heart and the soul. La Luz were formed in the summer of 2012 by guitarist and singer Shana Cleveland, who had previously recorded with the Curious Mystery and Shana Cleveland & the Sandcastles. Looking for a simple, upbeat, but forceful sound, Cleveland joined forces with Alice Sandahl on keys, Abbey Blackwell on bass, and Marian Li-Pino (another former member of the Curious Mystery) on drums, with all four sharing vocals. Adopting the name La Luz (Spanish for "the light"), the new group wasted no time getting into the studio (in this case, a makeshift recording setup in a trailer), releasing a four-song EP, Damp Face, before the year was out. In 2013, La Luz dropped 7" singles on two über-hip indie labels, Suicide Squeeze and Mississippi Records, and soon the Sub Pop-distributed Hardly Art label came calling, reissuing the Damp Face EP and in October 2013 issuing their first full-length album, It's Alive. La Luz soon hit the road to promote the album, and in November 2013, they were returning home from a gig when their van skidded on a patch of black ice, swerved, and was struck by a truck. The accident destroyed La Luz's van and much of their gear, and left the musicians with minor injuries; a tour with Of Montreal had to be canceled, and bassist Blackwell left the band, but by March 2014, La Luz recruited a new bassist, Lena Simon, and went back on the road. In early 2015, La Luz started work on their second album, recording in a surfboard shop in San Dimas, California, with Ty Segall serving as producer and engineer. The finished product, titled Weirdo Shrine, was released by Hardly Art on August 7, 2015, and the group headed out on an international concert tour in support. ~ Mark Deming

  • ORIGIN
    Seattle, WA
  • FORMED
    2012

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