Posts Tagged ‘Lena Simon’

A Seattle by way of Los Angeles four-piece who drag the sounds of 60s girl bands and classic surf rock into a sun-kissed Californian present. Exuding effortless cool, La Luz take the lazy, endless summer mood of Los Angeles at sunset, and essay on it through driving rhythms, honeycombed vocal harmonies, and breezy surf and garage rock guitar figures straight out of the Takeshi Terauchi playbook. On Floating Features, the four-piece write rich, vivid, and impressionistic studies of life viewed through the surreal, hallucinogenic haze of the city of angels, earning their spot in the Californian sun. La Luz hasn’t made one single weak song- everything they do rips. This new album just continues their unbeaten streak.


With comparisons to Mild High Club, The Shangri-Las, Dum Dum Girls La Luz started in the summer of 2012 by Shana Cleveland (guitar), Marian Li Pino (drums), Alice Sandahl (keyboard) and Lena Simon (bass).


Earlier this year, Seattle band La Luz made a solid cassette EP that came out via Burger Records (which included the great track “Sure as Spring”). It was full of surf-tinged garage pop, which is what they offer once again with “Brainwash” (their forthcoming single out July 17 via Suicide Squeeze). The track achieves a more mellow vibe, but that’s not to say the track is devoid of power. Though they apply a soft touch with their “oooh” vocals and paced, minimal intro, they also scream and play their instruments really loud in a few concentrated, raucous bursts. But at the core here is a sweet jangling melody– the perfect thing to support the simple organ solo that comes in just before the outro. Yes, right at the point where most bands pegged with the word “garage” would opt for a blaring guitar solo, La Luz go for something softer and more tonally appropriate.

La Luz is a band in Seattle, WA, started in the summer of 2012 by Shana Cleveland (guitar), Marian Li Pino (drums), Alice Sandahl (keyboard) and Lena Simon (bass). Everyone sings. Songs by Shana and La Luz.


Before he tragically and suddenly died at 25 years old, Ariel Panero was a staple in New York’s vibrant DIY scene. The young promoter’s involvement stretched far and wide, ranging from his work with record label Famous Class to performing with his band Tough Knuckles. Perhaps most notable was his Less Artists More Condos (LAMC) concert series, which saw Panero booking bands to play unique venues around the city.

After his death in 2010, Famous Class took to honoring his legacy with a series of singles named after LAMC. The A-side of each 7-inch features an unreleased track by a band the label likes. That artist then gets to choose another up-and-coming band they like to be included on the B-side. The 16th edition in the LAMC canon features Seattle surf-noir outfit La Luz backed with Brooklyn garage rockers Scully and will hit stores August 25th. Before the physical release, La Luz has shared their contribution, “Believe My Eyes”.


The track was recorded during the band’s sessions with Ty Segall for their excellent new album,  “Weirdo Shrines” . Much like the LP, the song smolders with hazy guitar tones and otherworldly harmonies. Frontwoman Shana Cleveland coos mysteriously overtop Lena Simon’s thumping bass line. Keyboards and lead guitar lines intertwine, merging into the surf rock mist. It’s a lovely mix of pop prowess and unsettling fever dream.


In Spanish, La Luz means “light” and that’s the perfect thing to evoke when your songs give the illusion of veering in the opposite direction. But lift out most any lyric—which is a good excuse to give a closer listen to the delicate, four-part harmonies that are fast becoming the band’s signature—and you’ll find that the aches and pains of love and loss, of living in a world where no foothold is ever a promise—all this is delivered with a nuanced dose of perfectly timed exhilaration, like the whole thing might just be worth it in the end. It’s Alive is the debut LP from Seattle’s La Luz.