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One More Song: L’Altra, Crystal Stilts

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L’Altra: “Winter Loves Summer Sun”

This Chicago dream pop band combines electronic and rock instruments. Originally a four-piece, L’Altra gravitates around former lovers Lindsay Anderson on vocals/keyboards and Joseph Desler Costa on vocals/guitars. The band’s name means “The Other One” in Italian. The “one” in this case refers to a woman, which makes it fitting. Their self-titled debut came out in 1999.

Their music wraps melancholic lyrics within a blanket of ambience. They trade singing duties, but the duo shines best together, as on this song. Costa’s voice has a low, almost whispered quality like Matt Sharp of The Rentals. Anderson’s sounds high and delicate.

After taking time off to record solo albums, they’ve reunited to make their latest album in six years. Telepathic comes out March 29 on Acuarela Discos. They’ll tour Japan this month and play the South by Southwest festival in March.

L’Altra Tour Dates
February 13 – Tokyo, O-Nest
February 14- Nagoya, Tokuzo
February 16 – Kyoto, Metro
March – SXSW 2011

Crystal Stilts: “Magnetic Moon”

Brooklyn indie rockers Crystal Stilts released Shake the Shackles last October. The quintet features singer Brad Hargett, guitarist JB Townsend, keyboardist Kyle Forester, bassist Andy Adler, and drummer Keegan Cooke who replaces Frankie Rose now of Frankie Rose and the Outs.

Crystal Stilts’ music contains a chunk of ’80s new wave with Hargett’s voice eerily reflecting the moaning style of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Lo-fi sound quality lends musical fogginess to the songs. Far from traditional, Crystal Stilts sound like a Halloween version of ‘60s teen pop and surf.

Shake the Shackles, with its electronic organ and trippy lyrics, is a pretty psychedelic disc. The B-side, “Magnetic Moon,” is my pick off the record. It lands on your player like a visitor from outer space.

The band is currently doing British dates with only one U.S venue listed so far. The track “Shake the Shackles” will also appear on their sophomore LP, In Love with Oblivion coming out April 12.

Crystal Stilts Tour Dates
March 25 – Start the Bus Bristol, UK – 8:00 PM
March 26 – Ruby Lounge Manchester, UK – 8:00 PM
March 27 – Arches Glasgow, UK – 8:00 PM
March 28 – Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK – 8:00 PM
March 29 – Bar Academy Birmingham, UK – 8:00 PM
March 30 – Cargo London, UK – 8:00 PM
April 29 – The East Side Drive-In Austin, TX – 8:00 PM

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