43 Favorites: #13

Lake Street Dive is my current jam and latest favorite thing. I’ve had their whole discography on repeat in anticipation of today’s release of their new album, Bad Self-Portraits.

Cover to Lake Street Dive album 'Bad Self-Portraits' — members posing stiffly in a drawing room in front of wall adorned with photos of them making goofy faces

The band, whose members met at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, consists of Rachael Price (lead vocals), Mike “McDuck” Olson (guitar, trumpet, backing vocals), Bridget Kearney (acoustic bass, backing vocals), and Mike Calabrese (drums, backing vocals).

I guess I’d describe their music as stripped-down indie pop/rock liberally inflected with jazz, blues, and soul. Perhaps that sounds like a little bit of everything, but Lake Street Dive is also focused and distinctive — at once familiar and not quite like anything I’ve heard in way too long.As the saying goes, though, writing about music is akin to dancing about architecture. Just give it a listen.

Bad Self-Portraits is streamable right now on the media page of the Lake Street Dive website, as are the band’s mostly-covers EP Fun Machine and its self-titled debut on the Signature Sounds label. A video of the quartet making a gorgeous slow burn of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” on a Boston sidewalk in May 2012 is closing in on 1.5 million YouTube views. The band was on The Colbert Report Feb. 5th for an interview segment and a performance of Bad Self-Portraits“You Go Down Smooth” plus the Internet exclusive “Rabid Animal”. [Update: Colbert Report content is no longer available.]

I bought Bad Self-Portraits despite the ability to listen to it for free online. Page hits and thumbs up are great, but voting with your wallet is still the best way to reward an artist for their current work while ensuring they’ll be around to do more. I’m totally looking forward to more from Lake Street Dive.

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