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Album reviews
Artist:
Luna Li
Album:
Opal Angel
Release year:
2017
Label:
Fried Records
27 October 2017 / by David Matta (author)

I once read a quote that went something along the lines of “In the 70’s there were one hundred bands selling a million records. Now there’s a million bands selling one hundred records” (I’ve never been able to trace the original source).

That seems to perfectly sum up the saturated state of the modern music industry, where in most cases, the music put forth by the millions of bands in the market these days tends to be bland and mediocre.

And then there’s Luna Li.

Luna Li is both an individual and a group. Luna Li is Hallie Switzer, Braden Sauder and Charise Aragoza, but Luna is front woman Hannah Bussiere. Their debut EP, Opal Angel, was released on October 10 with support from (local label and arts collective) Fried Records, and is an absolute brilliant first release. Its four-song track list is a sign of the group’s perfectionism; each song is expertly arranged to one of be four indie rock gems that stand out just as strong on their own.

 

Recorded and mixed by Sauder at his personal studio, the record, showcases Bussiere’s Bussiere knack for writing catchy hooks and choruses as she opens up to listeners with clever, honest and meaningful lyrics. Her entrancing voice is earnest and it interweaves valiantly with her raw, distorted guitar riffs.

The title track begins as a soft, lush indie ballad with a catchy arpeggio, but the post-chorus guitar riff brings an obvious energy that was there from the beginning to the fore front. It gives the song an undeniable groove that carries through to "Need a Lil Love," that houses an equally catchy guitar riff and an arguably catchier chorus. Throughout, the bass and drums are the engine that drive the track to an epic finale, complete with a sing-a-long chorus and horns.

The EP’s third track, "Star Stuff," was also the first single, released along with a video directed by Switzer that captures the glittery energy Luna Li brings to the stage, especially as Bussiere goes for a guitar solo on an equally glittery guitar. The closing track, "Ghostings" is a haunting ballad in the vein of Half Moon Run. The thoughtful and delicate string arrangement, played by Bussiere adds an air of maturity rarely heard on the debuts of most self-made artists.

With an impressive and addictive debut (and killer live show to boot), Luna Li is one of those artists that everyone should watch and listen to very carefully.

 

*Note: the author is in one of those “millions of bands in the market” and won’t stop making mediocre music. He’s also very cynical and meant no offence. If you love what you do, don’t stop and never give up. 

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The author

David Matta

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