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A Big Band Brings a Big Sound to Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

August 10th, 2012

It’s hard to pin down Ava Luna’s notable sound. Or as frontman Carlos Hernandez says, “We have a lot of synthesizers and vocal harmonies. I would call it kind of heavy and strange, but also very poppy.” Imagine well-crafted songs (thanks in part to Hernandez studying Music Composition at Columbia) that employ a heady mix of’60s doo-wop, ’70s R&B and a dash punk and avant-garde all topped off with a trio of women adding three-part harmonies and you’re starting to get the idea. The Brooklyn septet has been eagerly compared to Dirty Projectors, and the influential Seattle public-radio station KCRW has mentioned Midnight Vultures–era Beck. So there’s also that. As their excellent new album, Ice Level, proves, Ava Luna (above, playing “Past the Barbary” for Pink Couch Sessions) makes the kind of music that you can listen to over and over again and get something different each time, which in an era when music all too often sounds the same, is pretty damn cool. See them tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.