June 21, 2011

Today's Hotness: Fonda, Lilac

>> It's an all-too-familiar story: good band releases three records, drops off the map, and the word is the band members are doing "adult" "stuff" like earning a living, starting a family, finishing the advanced degree, et cetera. What happens much less frequently than we'd like has fortunately happened to dream-pop lifers Fonda: after an eight-year hiatus, the LA-based act has returned to making music. Fonda first formed almost two decades ago when core members David Klotz and Emily Cook (now married with children) met in Hollywood. We didn't know Fonda's work the first time around, but its forthcoming Better Days EP's arresting presentation of sounds first made famous by My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Slowdive is quite engaging. We were particularly intrigued to learn that former The Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist -- and former producer for Clicky Clicky favorites The Hush Now -- David Newton was once part of the band, although he is no longer. Better Days closes with the humming, pulsing delight "Summertime Flight," which the band was cool enough to allow us to post for download. The song opens with a subdued verse before bursting open into a strident, elegiac smiler, during which Mr. Klotz and Ms. Cook blissfully harmonize "you've wasted your life, you've wasted your life on me."

Fonda -- "Summertime Flight" -- Better Days
[right click and save as]
[buy Better Days from Fonda at Bandcamp right here]

>> A lot of fizzing 60's jangle (guitars! organ! tambourine!) and a little bit of shoegaze make Lilac's self-titled EP something we've been returning to again and again. The relatively new, San Francisco-based quartet describes itself alternately as "pop religion" and "heavy driving acid grunge dream," neither of which makes sense to us. But the music on Lilac's new EP -- in addition to being remarkable and efficient -- suggests a broad vision that implicates elements of Rocketship and The Stone Roses and The Kinks and The Monkees, and those are all good things. The resulting music is wholly immediate, but if we had to point our finger at a stand-out track from the new EP we'd have to select "Days," which commences with an insistent bass line and the sort of guitar jangle that is hard-wired into our hearts; an over-driven, riotous bridge and chorus around the two-minute mark transforms the song into an undeniable summer anthem. Lilac has been available on ITunes and presumably other digital storefronts since June 7; the EP will be available on vinyl from Omega Records July 19.


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