Please Welcome Ava Luna, the Post-TVOTR, Dirty Projectors-Inflected Bedroom Soul Project You’ve Been Waiting For (Download the Proof: “Clips”)


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Brooklyn’s Ava Luna is the rare band that needs to be heard to be believed. In the band’s hazy, floaty, post-TVOTR-maybe conceit, post-punk grooves, soaring soul harmonies, and classic indie detachment join forces for something beautiful, infectious, and damn-near indescribable. The twisted brainchild of Carlos Hernandez, the son of a soul DJ and occasional producer of bands like Fucked Up, Ava Luna is the sum of a lot of somehow congruous parts. The minimal drums/bass/synth lineup kicks out the most skeletal of Ze Records-era post-punk/nu-funk; a chorus made up of three backing singers add a razor-sharp doo-wop lilt; the sweat-soaked Hernandez is up front stirring-soul like Jamie Liddell or a James Chance for the Misshapes age. Their upcoming EP, Services (their fifth release for Brooklyn handmade CD-R label Cooling Pie) was self-recorded in the basement of a Brooklyn church and is getting an official party on Friday with Marnie Stern and Suckers. (Venue TBA, so watch their MySpace for details.) Opening track “Clips” makes super-sparse electro-funk clash with lush bah-bah-bahs, then shifts into high gear for a Stax-meets-Kraftwerk chorus.

Carlos Hernandez of Ava Luna on “Clips”

What is “Clips” about?

Clips is about the ups and downs of a relationship… in particular, mine.

What was the inspiration for the music?

“Clips” was inspired mostly by Michael Jackson actually. I wanted to make a song that had lots of different feels and sections and took you on a ride, but was very steady at the same time. Like a pop song where there were a lot of different rhythms and patterns, but the snares were still always on 2 and 4.

Tell me about finding three vocalists that fit your vision. Was it hard finding the right players?

It’s been difficult maintaining a band with three singers. Siheun [Song] and Felicia [Douglass] have been singing with us since the very beginning. We all went to high school together here in NYC so that just fell into place naturally. We met Becca [Kauffman], who recently joined the band as a third singer, through our friends in the band the Toothaches. I’m really lucky to be able to make music with such
cool people.

What’s your favorite beat of all time?

“What’s It Gonna Be” by Busta Rhymes & Janet Jackson has the best beat of all time. Or “The Message” by Cymande. Actually the Samiyam remix of “Crank Dat” has the best beat of all time.

What’s been your most memorable New York show?

We played a show at Exit Art on the night Obama was elected. We finished up not 10 minutes before the announcement was made. I think we were all weeping.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

I live with half the band down in Gravesend, which is near Brighton Beach. A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I ate at Cafe Glechik, a Ukrainian place on Coney Island Ave. It must be either that or Maria’s in Bushwick, the best chorizo burrito in town.

Download: [audio-1]

Ava Luna play somewhere (details TBA) on Friday, January 22 with Marnie Stern and Suckers.

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