La Luz | Pooneh Ghana @ Hardly Art
Photo credit: Pooneh Ghana
Joe Day
Joe Day

To write about the people, places, and experiences on offer in this beautiful place is some of the most fun I’ve had in my short life, and I am always excited for the future of music in the South-West I’m a sucker for acts from far-off lands, but home is where the heart is right?

The airy, kaleidoscopic style that La Luz exhibit has always marked them as a band with vision. Across their nine year career they have equally maintained heavenly and haunting soundscapes, consolidating all their tastes into a luxurious form of rock music that wholly holds its own in today’s musical climate. In a world of modernity, their slightly less contemporary approach – one that draws the mind back to the 50s and 60s with it’s flowery hippie-inspired guitar lines and drifting melodies – holds them in a league of their own, garnering a well deserved collective of fans that have waited with bated breath for the next release from the Los Angeles natives. This wait comes to a close as the trio now make for their fourth LP, out October 22nd via Hardly Art. a self-titled album oozing with emotional intimacy; formed from songs exploring the intricacies of the natural world and the spellbinding nature of human relationships.

Shana Cleveland, Lena Simon, and Alice Sandahl have no holdbacks in the songs they write. Shamelessly simplistic at times, at others a twisting turning adventure of arpeggiated melodies and soft, swinging rhythms; there are moments in their music that place the listener in a Tarantino flick or cult Western movie. The new single ‘Watching Cartoons‘ sets a different scene with its music video, a 60s inspired Hanna-Barbera ridden film in which the band are gifted a new, slightly sinister television set. It’s an incredibly fun display of creativity from the band, a willingness to get a bit silly, have fun, get colourful and explore a different side to the lives we currently lead, in which screens rule all.

Lyrically there is a worry, an embarrassment that drives songwriter Cleveland into her bedroom to escape the external world through the wondrous world of cartoons; mixing aptly with the surrealism of the soundscape to create a strangely clear vision of one’s internal world when things overwhelm us, when only something simple and external can calm us. Ultimately peaceful at its core, it would act as an appropriate replacement for those black mirrors we all find ourselves behind if listeners fancied four-ish minutes of wonderful, washy bliss.

Producer Adrian Younge‘s role behind this new album was, as it always has been, as integral as the band’s members. Despite his preferred ventures in hip-hop, soul, and jazz acts, Younge saw in La Luz a musical kinship that transcended genre.

“We both create music with the same attitude, and that’s what I love about them,” he says. “They are never afraid to be risky and their style is captivating. I don’t work with many bands, but I love taking chances on people that share the same vision. We both love to be ourselves, and it was an honor to work with them.”

Watch/listen to ‘Watching Cartoons’ here:

La Luz recently announced a 34-date world tour with North American shows in 2021 and will follow that with UK & European dates following next year, in April and May 2022.

See below for a full list of shows UK & European shows:

Spring 2022

Apr. 22 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Apr. 23 – Dublin, IE – The Grand Social  
Apr. 25 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Apr. 26 – Manchester, UK – Band On The Wall
Apr. 27 – Nottingham, UK – The Bodega
Apr. 28 – London, UK – Scala
Apr. 29 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
Apr. 30 – Brighton, UK – CHALK
May 02 – Paris, FR – La Boule Noire
May 03 – Brussels, BE – Grand Salon (le Nuits Botanique)
May 04 – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso Upstairs  
May 06 – Göteborg, SE – Oceanen
May 07 – Stockholm, SE – Hus 7
May 08 – Oslo, NO – Krosset
May 09 – Copenhagen, DK – Hotel Cecil  
May 11 – Hamburg, DE – Molotow
May 12 – Berlin, DE – Frannz Club
May 13 – Schorndorf, DE – Club Manufaktur
May 14 – Munich, DE – Feierwerk
May 16 – Luxembourg, LU – Rotonde
May 17 – Vevey, CH – Rocking Chair    
May 19 – Barcelona, ES – Upload
May 20 – Madrid, ES – Tomavistas Festival
May 21 – San Sebastian, ES – Dabadaba