Wednesday, November 3, 2010

La Strada - New Home

Release Date: April 20, 2010
Label: Ernest Jenning

Here's one that you might not have heard of.  La Strada is a relatively unknown Brooklyn band formed in 2007.  I'm not sure how I found these guys, but I heard a few tracks, and decided to purchase their album (their catalog consists of New Home, and their self-titled 2009 EP).  Considering the Wikipedia page for "La Strada (band)" points to some defunct Yugoslav band, this must be fairly obscure.

If I had to describe their sound in one phrase, it would be "a more upbeat Death Cab For Cutie."  It would probably be best categorized as Indie Pop/Rock, with a easy-on-the-ears sound, lots of melody, and a good instrumental depth.  One can get a sense of that by investigating the band's lineup:

James Craft - Accordian, Guitar, Lead Vocals
Devon Press - Bass, Guitar, Accordian and Vocals
Ted Lattis - Guitar, Vocals
Brady Miller - Drums, Vocals
Daniel Baer - Violin, Vocals

I have to say, I am actually fairly impressed with this album.  The whole thing was assembled very well, with a great flow that keeps you interested, some well-designed transitions between tracks, and sleek production.  It doesn't give you the feeling that they just threw whatever songs they had written into a box and shook it up (maybe that's what they did, but it doesn't sound that way).   Often times when I listen to what is termed "indie" music, it is too electronic or too lo-fi.  These guys are just a straightforward band who know what they are good at, and make good sounding, straightforward music.

There's really not a bad track on the album.  Most are upbeat, and all of them fully utilize their entire instrumental spectrum, with the strings featuring prominently, and a very clear guitar sound.

Here is the track list:
1Go Forward2:58
3The Traveler4:28
4Wash on By3:46
6My New Home4:55
7Where You Want to Go2:17
8There's Only Love4:14
9the Mountain Song5:41
10the Wedding Song2:55
11Shapes in the Sky3:57
12Mean That Much4:04
13Old Hill3:32

Alas, this might be their last album.  A couple weeks ago, they announced they are breaking up in December.


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