La Luz Rebounds After Its Tour Van Accident

Categories: Show Preview

The accident slowed what was a rapid ascendancy for La Luz in 2013. The band's full-length debut album, It's Alive, was released on Seattle's Hardly Art on October 15. The album -- and its lead single "Big Blood" -- created a big buzz for La Luz. Hardly Art calls the band's sound "surf noir," built from four-part harmonies, the catchiness of doo-wop, the jangle of early garage and the edgy reverb of surf-rock guitar and organ.

La Luz formed barely a year earlier, after Cleveland and Li Pino left their previous band, the psychedelic Curious Mystery. Cleveland's songwriting zeroed in on a timeless sort of sound, blending elements of vintage rock and soul with beautiful vocal harmonies and the bristling energy of garage rock.

"I just listen to a lot of older music, old country and soul and rock 'n' roll from the 50s and 60s, stuff that has a lot of vocal harmonies and each instrument taking their turns to stand out and be in front," she says. "It seemed like everybody in that era was using a few components that I like a lot and I tried to incorporate into La Luz," she says.

"But we're not really into being some sort of reproduction of that era. We draw influence from that and also newer garage rock, taking those influences and trying to make something that was our own and not just a throwback," she says.

After this tour, which takes La Luz from the Northwest to SXSW in Austin, the band will play a month-long tour in Europe before more summer U.S. dates.

The light, for La Luz, seems to be growing brighter all the time.

"I've been writing a bunch of new songs and we've been working on them here and there, but mostly we're gearing up for a lot of touring," Cleveland says. "I'm hoping to get a bunch of writing done in the summer and we'd really like to start working on a new record in the fall or winter."

La Luz is scheduled to perform at Last Exit Live tonight during Rampage Fest. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $15.

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Last Exit Live

717 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

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