I cranked up the radio volume a few notches a few weeks ago as the local Kansas City alternative station, 96.5 the Buzz, played a song I had never heard before. A few notes picked on an acoustic guitar, and suddenly I was immersed in a low bass hum with a heavy beat and ticking drums. It felt like no time had passed when I found myself hooked.
This song, I discovered, was by a two-piece band from Queens called Lewis Del Mar. As soon as I got home, I looked them up – they have only one short, four track EP released earlier this year. This surprised me; the whole EP is very cohesive and feels like the two members, singer/guitarist Danny Miller and drummer/producer Max Harwood, have been doing this for a long time.
Their debut EP, called simply EP on Spotify, is dubbed under the “experimental folk-pop” genre. It relies on a combination of electronic samples, acoustic guitar, and Latin-American inspired drums – kind of an odd mix, but they inexplicably make it work. Effectively pulling inspiration from hip-hop and blues, they infuse each track with live drums and guitar and layer them with industrial samples. They have great control over their dynamics, pushing crescendoes to their full potential. It creates something that feels very much alive.
Their drums and huge, echoey bass especially remind me of alt-J, one of my favorite bands that, up until now, had no other music to be compared with. But I can understand what Miller says, unlike the lead singer for alt-J, whose voice is as unique as it is incomprehensible.
I have a feeling Lewis Del Mar will be huge, especially since this is their first release. It really is only the start of something amazing.
This summer they’re touring with Glass Animals, and I bet their live set will be awesome.