‘It is as if Neil Young had played for Spacemen 3 while drinking sangria in a Tapas Bar’ Vice Magazine.
Alba Lua hail from Bordeaux, a city with a beguiling cultural image. On the surface it would appear to evolve mostly around wine but take a closer a look and you will find a thriving rock scene. The cities Bar and Club caves play host to musicians with diverse musical references, from the Sergio Leone inspired Alba Lua, to the Post Punk Shake-down of Adam Kesher and the infamous Pop-Rape of Kap Bambino. Speak to most people in Paris and they will testify the fact that the city appears to be producing some of most precocious and interesting talent in the French music scene. An unlikely setting, you might say, but it is exactly this sentiment that is central to Alba Lua, their name being ‘a Spanish Portuguese association and it 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.’ With this in mind we declare 2010 as the year of Alba Lua.
Comprising of three members, the band are Pepo Durantez (lead-vox and rhythm guitar) Pascal Hoerner (lead guitar, backing vox and bass) and Renoi Jacob Mathieu (drums and percussion), and ‘Ballad of Joseph Merrick’ is their debut EP. Recorded in Barcelona, just two days after the band saw Neil Young, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Deerhunter, and Michael Nyman play at the infamous Primavera festival, the recordings capture the bands live dynamic. Produced by New York born Dave Bianchi, described in La Vanguardia as an "Unusually brilliant producer" and mastered by Kelly Hibbert, who’s work includes mixing for J-Dilla and Guilty Simpson, the EP’s sound has already been perfectly summarized by Vice as ‘Syd Barrett sound tracking a spaghetti western, i.e. eccentric, reverb-heavy, dreamy pop music.’
Describing their influences, the band cite “Masaoka Shiki, Gérard de Nerval, History, Dreams, Girls, Animals, Wine, Nietzsche, the Goddess Dionysus, Mythology, Love and Hate and Nature” and of course, the previously mentioned “Sergio Leone,” all themes that you will find explored in this debut record. From the literary homage of the EP’s title track, to the natural midway glare of ‘Sungaze,’ and the existentially ambiguous EP closer of ‘Valley of Abra.’ Since recording the EP the band have supported Noah and the Whale in Paris and played Smash n Grab in London and the Deaf Institute in Manchester as well numerous shows in France and Spain. With a new EP in the pipeline and an album scheduled for early 2011 expect to see much more from this unashamedly original band.
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