What’s new: La Luz, “Floating Features”

La Luz, “Floating Features”“Floating Features,” the third proper full-length album from Seattle-based quartet La Luz, sets a minor, relative tonal shift right from the get-go. The album opener, which doubles as the title track, is a two-minute instrumental ripper that eschews the surf noir for hard swirling, heavy-key laden neo-psychedelia. These are not totally unfamiliar sonics for the ladies – far from it – but it does indeed mark a shift. The foursome of singer/guitarist Shana Cleveland, drummer Marian Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl, and bassist Lena Simon have, with their third long player, delved deeper into the ’60s-inspired psychedelic territory. Fear not. Some of the best tracks on the album,” The Creature,” “My Golden One,” and “Greed Machine,” still lean heavily into whammy bar-bending surf, which is dipped in their distinct brand of clean, forthright indie-doo-wop-rock-n-soul. Clocking in at under 40 minutes, “Floating Features” is an essential summer album that deserves repeated spins at your forthcoming backyard hangout. An extensive summer-into-fall tour cycle, dubbed the Grueling Megatour, kicks off in San Francisco this very weekend. With two Colorado dates in May, try to support artists the most assured way you can in 2018: See them on tour and buy a little merch.

“Floating Features” is available Friday, May 11, via Hardly Art Records on compact disc, cassette tape, and on an initial run of a mystery limited edition colorway vinyl LP. The vinyl, as is now customary, also comes with a digital download in your choice of various high-quality formats. In a strange turn, the cassette does NOT come with a digital download of the album.

Recommended for fans of The Shangri-Las, Shannon and the Clams, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Astronauts, The Growlers, Night Beats, or Tijuana Panthers.

Jon E. LynchKDUR_PD@fortlewis.edu