Twin Sister, Ava Luna, Summer Girlfriends | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Twin Sister, Ava Luna, Summer Girlfriends Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Feb. 17, 10 p.m. 2012

Thanks to the Internet buzz whipped up by two well-received EPs, Twin Sister were having a good run even before their debut full-length, In Heaven (Domino), came out in September. The Long Island indie five-piece plays dream pop topped by the airy, not-quite-raspy voice of front woman Andrea Estella, who dabbles in the mystical and constantly transforms her onstage persona—at last year's Pitchfork festival, she'd dyed her hair aquamarine, which made her look like the floating apparition of a mermaid (and this was months before seapunk broke). Gentle and ethereal, In Heaven gets its lazy momentum from wistful melodies and breezy 80s synth sounds, but it's at its most awesome when it breaks out of its pigeonhole and shows a little attitude. One of the album's standouts, the early single "Bad Street," picks up some sass from Eric Cardona's vaguely funky guitar licks and the hard speak-singing Estella does at the end—its groove sounds designed for a Soul Train line. —Kevin Warwick

Brooklyn's best-kept secret, the seven-piece little big band Ava Luna, is finally about to drop a proper full-length after a string of unheard EPs. The slinky, sinewy, funky Ice Level (Infinite Best) is what I imagine Dirty Projectors would've sounded like if the hype and hyperbole surrounding them had turned out to be true—grand arrangements given to atmospheric lulls and no-wave spasms, plus a trio of female singers who like to cut across the grain of the band's male-fronted Prince-ified indie soul. They try on a lot of genres and big ideas—"Wrenning Day" lurches and plinks, the ladies wax and wane from Aaliyah nods to tight Andrews Sisters harmonies—and it all works, gorgeously. You can dance to it, but it's gonna be a weird look. It's about time someone trotted out an album that feels like an adventurous leap forward, rather than a too-trend-smart rehash of the 90s. —Jessica Hopper Twin Sister headlines; Ava Luna and Summer Girlfriends open.

Price: $12

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