Ava Luna, Celestial Shore, Star Rover

/ Sep

Ava Luna, Celestial Shore, Star Rover

10:00 pm - 01:00 am


Output Agency Ltd. presents

Ava Luna // Celestial Shore // Star Rover

Our two favorite post-neo-soul-revival bands are touring together, and for this night only, math-heavy-folk duo Star Rover will open.

$7 || 18+ || 10:00 DOORS // 10:30 SHOW


After years of writing and performing, Ava Luna has refined their doo-wop soul meets punk-as-fuck aesthetic into something bold and glaringly defiant in today’s indie music landscape. Following the release of their critically lauded first proper full-length Ice Level, the band spent an intense 2-week period writing and recording in upstate New York. Unlike previous efforts that were meticulously mapped out, the songs that would become Electric Balloon were “…a family effort.” according to frontman Carlos Hernandez. For the new album, former Columbia composition student Hernandez relinquished the reins a bit, opting for a more organic approach to writing the material for what would become Electric Balloon. As Hernandez explains, it was a “…birth of confidence. I grew closer to my bandmates, began to see the roles of a family playing out. Ethan cooks dinner for all of us, we make lewd jokes, and then ‘after-dinner storytelling’ takes the form of playing music.”

In the wake of Ice Level, Ava Luna’s sharp edges have melted away just enough, making it easier to connect with their no-wave grooves and soaring harmonies. Distilling everything from James Chance and ESG to contemporaries like Dirty Projectors and Of Montreal, Ava Luna have landed on an aggressively unique sound that still manages to be accessible. Hernandez goes on to explain “…the stories and moments here are clearer, as in a conversation. The moment appears, you grab it with your hands, screw the lid on the mason jar. There was no tweaking, no second-guessing. Julian’s mantra for the process: ‘First thought best thought.’….And for my part, I sing my best about encounters, friendships, some moments beautiful and others painful. A bike shop manager in New Orleans, a derelict porch on Brighton Beach, a yellow sweater in a kitchen in the Catskills, a water duct in the New Mexico desert…”



From Impose:
‘Creation Myth’, Celestial Shore‘s first single off of their upcoming album, Enter Ghost, creates a lot of cognitive dissonance. The song’s mantric lyrics wholly conflict with its title, leaving a lot of room for Angela Stempel’s visual imagination (and interpretation) to run wild.

“We evolve. Slowly count the days. It’s happening to you. You evolve slowly. Just like everyone around you.”

The only lyrics first ring out after Stempel’s psychedelic mixed-media freak out opens with an illustrated Big Bang. Doodled amoebas fill the following riotous and off-kilter instrumental, flashing themselves inside-out to transform into ancient sea creatures; into insects; into wild game; into a video game some chubby dude is totally pwning.

Things get more complicated in the collaged/illustrated human world. “We evolve” starts to punctuate sinister developments in the cartoon protagonist’s surroundings. The technology starts getting aggressive and before you can register Sam Owens’ voice repeating, “Just like everyone around you”, everyone but the cartoon protagonist blooms from a television-fed chrysalis into a cotton candy-skulled zombie dressed in Ted Chaough’s clothing.

Enter Ghost comes out October 14 on Hometapes.



Star Rover’s original compositions use John Fahey’s guitar playing as a launching point for interstellar explorations. The title track on Western Winds Bitter Christians is a call to attention, a blast of grungy backwoods distortion. It’s crooked like an Appalachian fiddle tune, sour like a Mississippi lament, but still brash and majestic.

When Star Rover plays Portland Cement Factory at Monolith, CA (a Fahey composition) the melody is slowed altered and carefully re-orchestrated for drum set and guitar. The result sounds less like two instruments than a tight ensemble of ten. Those 6 strings, kick, snare, tom, and cymbals separate and recombine, lead and accompany, and alternately push and pull the time with incredible variety. Rhythmic drive comes as often from Will Graefe’s guitar as it does from the drum set; Jeremy Gustin’s languid drumming is full of song-like melodies; and a casually precise blend of kick drum and low guitar strings provides ample bass-register harmonic grounding.