Think Twenty One Pilots (Migraine), think Civil Youth (Convince Yourself), think anything but the “Indie” and “Alternative” go-to sound you hear in your head when someone mentions those genres. Add dynamic animation and creativity, and you have Los Angelics.
Their debut EP, Land of the Brave and Dangerous, combines catchy, melodic verses with adrenaline-buzzed choruses to deliver the message we’ve heard before but still need: You are in charge of your life, and you can achieve the dreams you pursue. Cliché? Maybe, but when did that become a bad thing? There’s a reason you hear that particular message in so much music nowadays, and it’s because there’s a population of people out there who still have trouble believing it. Los Angelics delivers, and it’s not cliché at all.
The (you guessed it) Los Angeles-based band have played more than 50 shows so far, opening for groups like the Kyle Gass Band in venues like Maui Sugar Mill Saloon and the Silverlake Lounge. The quartet is comprised of vocalist Sara Coda, Joz Ramirez, Sara Collins, and Pat Campo, and the random pairing of Coda and Ramirez in a UCLA songwriting class foreshadowed the genesis of the band. The four went on to create an EP draped in optimistic chords and a heartbeat that’s just flat-out fun, popping with cheery electric green and pleasant blue that in other instances are known to be anything but. But the band seems to know what they’re doing: Tracks like “Dangerous” pulse with a steady beat while the instrumentals pile on top in psychedelic layers, not too glossy or overwhelming, while kickers like “Live Like Kings (Mexico)” crack with echoing crisp texture as if the notes are heavy with the weight of such a realistic and urgent message. Coda’s vocals complement the sound as much as the sound complements the vocals; they are pure and real, flowing clear and round with a power that sounds just as natural as the melody behind them. (Do yourself a favor and listen to “Bottle of Pills”—the harmonies are almost Lorde-like while maintaining the integrity of originality. It’s a feat many in the industry struggle with: How to create something new but hold onto influential roots.) Spoiler alert: Los Angelics bring variety and you don’t feel burned out by the end of the 16-minute EP. The contrast between lyrical content (dark, heavy, laden with stark patterned black) and sound (bright, bouncy, almost buoyant rippling across the space) are a satisfying, and outspoken, complement.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been too drawn to Electric/Indie/Alternative. I dig metal, the stuff where you punch the guy next to you at shows and pray for a wall of death. Los Angelics are one of the first bands outside my genres that have been able to hook me, really hook me, and leave my typical critiques dry. They find the balance between political and popular, relaxed and impassioned, original and influenced. No matter where you fall on the musical preference spectrum, you will find benefit in this EP.