Monday, April 01, 2013

Canadian Musicfest - Alba Lua @ Silver Dollar, Toronto (March 21, 2013)

Alba Lua: photo by Michael Ligon
  Alba Lua: photo by Michael Ligon

Bordeaux, France is known for it's fine wines but if there's any justice, word will spread about young four-piece Alba Lua. The band explains their name as ʻa Spanish-Portuguese association that means the "moon of the dawn"- it describes that moment when something appears in some place where it shouldn't, and what first seems out of the blue shows in fact a real beauty.ʼ(via Originally a three-piece comprised of Pepo Durantez (lead-vox and rhythm guitar) Pascal Hoerner (lead guitar, backing vox and bass) and Renoi Jacob Mathieu (drums and percussion) when they released their debut EP Ballad of Joseph Merrick back in 2010, the band's now a four-piece and if were to deduce correctly, that fourth member must have been the gent on the Roland keyboard. This was the band's second and last set of the festival [the previous night, they had played an early set at Czechovski] and since there wasn't much of interest in bands / artists I wanted to check out that Thursday night, and given that Albu Lua had made my long list of bands to perhaps check out during Canadian Musicfest, I headed over to the Silver Dollar to check out their early set. Thankfully there was a small and just large enough group of people on hand to make the band feel welcome. Lead vocalist Pepo Durantez' face was for most of the night covered by his shaggy hair, with a cowboy hat atop his head, and that look made sense especially given the downtempo country-twinged, pop that began the set. Durantez' sang in a higher range that reminded me of Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips, and yes the Lips' psych-pop influences are there, but there were also elements of jangle, dream-pop and shoegaze with bands from Luna, Slowdive, and Deerhunter coming to mind. Initially I wasn't particularly fond of Durantez' vocals - I almost felt there was some sort of pretense behind it - but as the set went on, I realized how consistently melodic the songs were. The band pulled out some pedal steel guitar near the end and even delved into some Spiritualized-ish dissonance. As much as they reminded me of other bands, they distinguished themselves enough, especially with their grasp of melody, for me to appreciate them on their own merit. Alba Lua recently signed a record deal with Roy Music from Paris so look out for a release in the future.(via)

Photos: Alba Lua @ Silver Dollar, Toronto (March 21, 2013)
Facebook: Alba Lua
Twitter: Alba Lua
Soundcloud: Alba Lua
Video: Alba Lua - "Valley of Abra" (music video)

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