Lake Street Dive Lake Street Dive / Fun Machine EP on 2LP + Download
How is it that something so unlikely can also be so infectious, so naturally exhilarating? Pulling in familiar elements and irreverently scrambling and recombining them, Lake Street Dive are at once jazz-schooled, DIY-motivated, and classically pop obsessed. Beginning with catchy songs that are by turns openhearted and wryly inquisitive, this northeastern quartet proceeds to inject them with an irresistible blend of abandon and precision. Composed of drummer Mike Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney, vocalist Rachael Price, and trumpet-wielding guitarist Mike “McDuck” Olson, Lake Street Dive encompasses a myriad of possibilities within its members’ collective experiences, and the resultant music is a vivid, largely acoustic, groove-driven strain of indie-pop. “It seems the only limitation we have,” Kearney explains, “ is that we try to make music that we would like listening to.”
Hailing from such disparate locales as Tennessee (Price), Iowa (Kearney), Minneapolis (Olson), and Philadelphia (Calabrese), Lake Street Dive first gathered in a room together when they were students at Boston’s New England Conservatory. “Mr. McDuck assembled the four of us, said we were now Lake Street Dive, and we were a ‘free country’ band,” Bridget Kearney remembers. “He wrote this on a chalkboard in the ensemble room that we had our first rehearsal in. We intended to play country music in an improvised, avant-garde style – like Loretta Lynn meets Ornette Coleman. It sounded terrible! But the combination of people and personalities actually made a lot of sense and we had a great time being around each other and making music together.”
Lake Street Dive makes the most of pop music virtues: solid, evocative song craft; propulsive grooves; and Price’s disarming, forthright vocals. However, it’s a personal strain of pop that is refracted through the band members’ rich backgrounds: a sinewy Motown bass line is reborn with woody heft on Kearney’s upright, Calabrese’s drumming mixes timekeeping with more adventurous jazz-inflected outbursts, McDuck’s nimble trumpet is an unexpectedly warm counterpoint to Price’s singing. It all makes for a sound with familiar roots, but with a slant that is entirely their own. Lake Street Dive’s eventual artistic breakthrough came not without struggle, and still surprises original instigator Mike “McDuck” Olson. “Now we’re a pop band, leaning very heavily on soul and rock, with hook-y writing, which I never expected,” he concludes. “If I could travel through time, I’d go back six years and play the new record for my younger self, just to assure him that the awkward, new-band phase doesn’t last forever.”
Throughout Lake Street Dive, the band displays mastery of a range of rhythms, from skeletal, eerily metronomic pop of “Neighbor Song” to the British invasion basher “Henriette” (replete with unexpected bass solo) to the tempered, after-hours R&B of the closing “My Speed,” which boasts a guest vocal from Boston soul man Jesse Dee. The songs, intricate arrangements, and Price’s vocals insure that each ingredient in their sound is personalized and reimagined from the band’s perspective. The confident, unapologetic vibe that runs throughout the album is clearly that of a band celebrating a newfound ease with itself.
The Fun Machine EP cements Lake Street Dive's reputation as a "monumental" band. Their blend of classic soul, R&B, jazz, and British invasion along with staggering vocals and virtuosic instrumentation is irresistible. This EP features 1 original and 5 covers of material by Hall & Oates, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Jackson 5 and The Drifters - all songs that fans have requested to be recorded, featuring the band's original instrumentation - with trumpet and not guitar.
Due to popular demand, both previously released Lake Street Dive albums issued on Signature Sounds (self-titled full-length from 2011 and the Fun Machine EP from 2012) will be coming out as an all-in-one gatefold double-vinyl package.
Lake Street Dive Lake Street Dive / Fun Machine EP Track Listing:
LP1 - Lake Street Dive
1. Hello? Goodbye!
2. Don't Make Me Hold Your Hand
4. My Heart's In The Right Place
5. I Don't Really See You Anymore
6. Miss Disregard
8. Funny Not To Care
9. Neighbor Song
10. Got Me Fooled
11. We All Love The Same Songs
12. Don't Make Me Hold Your Hand (Reprise)
13. My Speed
LP2 - Fun Machine EP
1. Faith (George Michael)
2. Clear A Space
3. I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
4. Rich Girl (Hall and Oates)
5. This Magic Moment (The Drifters)
6. Let Me Roll It (Paul McCartney)