La Luz sound for all the world like they’ve been brought up in sight of the ocean, with the sun on their backs and surfboards in their arms.
Yet they’re not. They’re from Seattle. It’s this veil of imagination, of dream-like escapism which echoes throughout debut album ‘It’s Alive’. Joyously sunny, the band matches indie-pop harmonies to chiming surf guitar riffs, creating something blissful, wholesome and – at times – infuriatingly catchy in the process.
Seemingly recorded in a trailer park, ‘It’s Alive’ is hardly polished. Rough around the edges, its charm lies in atmosphere, in the ghostly chords of ‘Sure As Spring’ or the nerve-tingling instrumental ‘Phantom Feelings’.
However, the group struggles to apply breadth to their sound. Sure, those surf-pop tropes are damned effective, but after a while the novelty of being on the beach wears off and something more fulfilling is called for. Throwaway fun, for sure, but throwaway all the same.
At it’s best, ‘It’s Alive’ demonstrates that La Luz have much to get excited about. Blessed with a shrewd pop touch, tracks such as ‘Call Me In The Day’ have a contagious edge – albeit one which can't quite surpass its influences.
Words: Robin Murray
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