Song of the Day: La Luz - You Disappear

Local Music, Song of the Day
01/29/2016
Jacob Webb
photo by Amber Knecht

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “You Disappear” by La Luz, from the 2015 album Weirdo Shrine on Hardly Art.

La Luz - You Disappear (MP3)

Reverb-heavy top lines and a crisp, rapid-fire rhythm section drive the surf- and doo-wop-influenced rock songs of the Los Angeles via Seattle quartet La Luz. Formed by former the Curious Mystery members Shana Cleveland and Marian Li Pino, along with bassist Abbey Blackwell and keyboardist Alice Sandahl, the band hit the ground running, recording the Damp Face EP not long after their formation, and after a pair of 7"s brought further acclaim, Hardly Art picked up the band for a reissue of Damp Face and their full-length debut, 2013's It's Alive. Tragically, while the band was on tour behind the album, their bus hit a patch of black ice and was hit by a truck. While no one in the band was significantly injured, the band had to cancel a tour and Blackwell quit the band, to be replaced by Lena Simon ahead of the recording of their second LP. "You Disappear", a highlight off their Ty Segall-produced sophomore album, Weirdo Shrine, rolls with spiky guitar and keyboard lines that mine early rock and roll energy for a psychedelic punch. Cleveland's floating vocal lines weave in and out of the song, calling and responding to her bandmates' airy harmonies before conceding the spotlight to the band's white knuckle-tight dynamics. The frequency that the surf rock tag gets applied to La Luz may imply that they're loose, freewheeling musicians, but "You Disappear" argues quite the opposite: they're razor sharp, magnetically hazy, and anything but slack.

La Luz recently moved from Seattle to Los Angeles, but they'll be back in the Pacific Northwest this spring for the 2016 Sasquatch Music Festival. Keep up with the band at their Facebook and Bandcamp, and watch the band play "You Disappear" live on KEXP in 2015.

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