May 19, 2010
I meet Avan Lava outside St. Cecilia’s Catholic School and Church in Williamsburg. Father Jim walks past and exchanges hellos with multi-instrumentalist Michael “Le Chev” Cheever and singer Tom Hennes as the two finish their cigarettes. Father Jim walks back up the stairs into the school and a few seconds later Cheever and Hennes lead me down to the Church’s basement, filled with rooms that Father Jim rents out to artists, dancers, and musicians. We walk through a maze of dust- and clutter-filled rooms until we reach the recording studio where I sit down and talk with the band.
Avan Lava’s music doesn’t necessarily sound like it was recorded in a church basement—it can certainly be haunting and ambient at times, but still the group switches easily between shoe-gazey, dream pop and bouncy, dance-ready neu-disco. Avan Lava have already released their first EP, Vapors, which you can get on iTunes or their website; but the two are still hard at work, spending hours upon hours in the basement of St. Cecilia’s figuring out and perfecting their constantly changing sound.
Jezebel Music: So how did you guys meet and decide to start working together?
Michael Cheever: We were working with a friend of mine, Ian, and all of us were writing this song together.
Tom Hennes: Yeah, and Ian had seen me sing in something random, and was just like “Hey come sing with me.” So I showed up at the studio and it was the four of us, and Mike and I kept having the same ideas. It was weird.
MC: Especially because we were working with like a 70s, glam rock melody. And everyone was kind of saying, “I dunno, I dunno,” and Tom and I were like, “Yeah, that’s it!”
TH: It’s funny because we were the two people whose input wasn’t really wanted, because we were kind of invited into this project.
MC: I actually don’t think it was fitting the track very well, but it was exciting for us.
April 27, 2010
2010 | True Panther
Remember last summer? The muggy haze of humidity that crept over New York City in mid-July coupled with the onslaught of lazy, sticky tunes from Washed Out and Neon Indian? It was like three months of lying on the floor—because the fabric on the couch was too hot—in just a pair of shorts, with a pack of frozen food or a can of beer resting on your forehead, unable to move because, you know, that would just make things worse. A chill-wave summer. Or something like that. But amidst all this was Delorean’s Ayrton Senna EP—four tracks of sun-drenched, electro-dance pop that felt like someone had just dunked your head into a bucket of ice water. Now, one year later, with temperatures climbing, the Spanish four-piece is back with their second full-length, Subiza, a fine record that highlights Delorean’s knack for crafting wonderfully simple yet layered melodies that dance, swell, and fall almost effortlessly.
The Magnetic Fields Announce New Album, Realism, Set to be Released January 26; Stephen Merritt Remains Better at Naming Songs Than Just About Anyone, With Song Titles Like “We are Having a Hootenanny” and “Everything is One Big Christmas Tree” [Pitchfork]
Stream Beck, Binki Shapiro, and Devendra Banharts’ Version of Leonard Cohen’s “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong;” Grow Frustrated When Finding Out That Banhart Still Shows a Lot of Talent Even Though What Will We Be Was Awful (And Self-Fulfilling: A Poorly Conceived Album is What We Will Be) [Gorilla vs. Bear]
British Electro Rockers Hot Chip Announce New Album, One Life Stand, Which is the Quality of Emo-Pun I’d Expect from the All American Rejects; Released Februrary 9 [Spin]
The Drums Announce New Single Release of “I Felt Stupid” from the JM Approved Summertime! EP; I Look Back Fondly On When the Drums Were Our July Featured Artist, and Encourage You All To Go See Home Video (Our Current Feature Artist) This Thursday [NME]
Stream Delorean Remixing Franz Ferdinand’s Tonight Track “Live Alone,”and Turns It Into One Big World Music Party Jam! Drinks All Around (Preferably Served Out of Some Kind of Exotic Balearic Fruit…Perhaps a Kiwi) [Pitchfork]
Stream New Single from that Swedish Glow-Fi Band jj, “Baby,” Which is Set to an Understated Montage of Graceful Horses, and is Deliciously Auto-tuned (As Much as a Song Can be Delicious, as Sound is Not Edible) [Gorilla vs. Bear]
compiled by Max Sebela