A jolt of slinky modern R&B from the shape-shifting Ava Luna

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Ava Lunas Electric Balloon
  • Ava Luna's Electric Balloon
On its second album, Electric Balloon (Western Vinyl), the split-personality New York band Ava Luna continues to ricochet between dissonant, hard-hitting funk inspired by the glory days of No Wave and elaborate adaptations of modern R&B, with many stops in between. "Sears Roebuck M&Ms" sounds like Thin White Duke-era Bowie shorn of any polish and luxury, "Daydream" suggest a less antisocial James Chance, and "Crown" contains traces of Dirty Projects—a band Ava Luna is often compared to—with falsetto singing closer to Jeff Buckley and David Longstreth. For today's 12 O'Clock Track you can check out "PRPL," a song whose title suggests Prince but whose slinking grooves and sensual delivery sounds like like Aaliyah. The band headlines the Empty Bottle this coming Sunday.

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