When: Sat., Aug. 4 2012
AVA LUNA On a wave of angular R&B, fidgety percussion and cooing but slip-sliding harmonies come nervous soulsters Ava Luna, poster kids for “ADD is the new normal.” If you don’t like the way an Ava Luna song is going, just sit tight, because that shit is gonna change — and fast. The N.Y.C. quintet defies hookiness, pushing frontman Carlos Hernandez’s Prince-like falsetto to the front of dense, genre-bending compositions that owe as much to the late ’70s No Wave mutant disco of James White, Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Material as the pop smarts of Destiny’s Child. Ava Luna loves to twist and turn, but they avoid the whiplash jerkiness of neo-prog avant-gardists like Deerhoof by bracketing song segments with inventively arranged female harmonies that are as soothing as old-school soul and as willfully weird as anything by Dirty Projectors. At times, this sounds like a great big steaming pile of art, a glorious mess with nothing to hang onto. But give it a moment and it all starts to click. The sound you hear is your synapses popping.