Hailing from Seattle, all-girl surf-rock group La Luz conjures images of Washington fog with Dick Dale–era inspirations.

The quartet’s debut, It’s Alive, shows off their ability to work the tricks of different eras into their own timeless sound. The result is a gloomy surf album that is a refreshing take on the genre.

Album opener “Sure as Spring” nods to classic sounds with its surf riffs. However, the mix of Shana Cleveland’s vocals and wistful lyrics give the album a dark feel. On the slower “What Good Am I?” Cleveland cries to an old lover, “I was only in a dream with you,” with retro doo-wop backing vocals that accentuate her longing.

The girls melt images of Seattle rain with sounds from the ’50s. Their versatility is on full display in the album’s title track, a dance-worthy meltdown that combines Cleveland’s haunting vocals with ’60s riffs and girl-group backups. Instrumentals such as “Sunstroke” tie the album together and show that the quartet is capable of replicating their predecessors with proficiency.

An album of surf-rock gloom, It’s Alive asks to be listened to on a winter beach, while conjuring the ghosts of summer.

  • Album: It's Alive
  • Artist: La Luz
  • Label: Hardly Art
  • Songs: (1) Sure as Spring (2) All the Time (3) Morning High (4) What Good Am I? (5) Sunstroke (6) It's Alive (7) Big Big Blood (8) Call Me in the Day (9) Pink Slime (10) Phantom Feelings (11) You Can Never Know

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klyda Jan. 6, 2014 @ 6:51 p.m.

Sounds like an album worth checking out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


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