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CD Shorts: Lux Deluxe

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

It’s A Girl

(Spirithouse)

Lux Deluxe used to be known primarily for their unusual combination of youth and ability to play. The band formed in 2009, so its members have hardly become elder statesmen—they’ve still got the same lean energy and earnest chops, and the oldest is a seasoned 22. All the same, the new Lux Deluxe album, It’s A Girl, reveals a band that’s inhabiting its sound comfortably and bringing with it a stout confidence.

Nowhere is that confidence clearer than in the recording method the band employed. They all stuffed into Northampton’s Spirithouse studio, hit play on a massive multi-track analog tape deck, and recorded all the songs live. That may have been the prevailing method in 1955, but it’s hardly usual in the age of “digital audio workstations” and infinite numbers of tracks. All the warts are audible, but you’d have to listen pretty darn closely to hear anything that’s even slightly awry.

What you’ll hear instead is solidly delivered, exuberant pop music that draws from the sounds of several decades ago. Its upbeat synth and horns sometimes echo ‘80s pop, and some passages would be just as at home in 1975 with their mix of Ned King’s baritone vocals and Caleb Rosazza’s big, fuzzy guitar leads. The band seems happy to embrace the bubbly sounds, as evidenced by song titles like “So Far Away (Ba Ba Da Ba Da Ba).” Perhaps what’s most impressive about Lux Deluxe’s mix of youth and ability is its mastery of quiet moments as well as loud—these guys don’t seem to get rattled or derailed by navigating the subtle and nearly silent. There aren’t avant garde sounds on offer, but there are plenty of catchy melodies and laidback grooves.

Lux Deluxe celebrates the release of It’s A Girl April 12 at 10 p.m. at Northampton’s Iron Horse in what’s likely to be an evening as upbeat as the album’s 10 tunes. Violent Mae opens, and tickets are $10 in advance, $13 at the door.

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