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LA Priest – Fase Luna Review

Hazy nights in are soundtracked best by LA Priest. Fase Luna, their third LP, is enough proof of that. Considered style, hypnagogic intentions that bleed into a state of acoustic melody on opener On makes for a welcoming, relaxed feel. Music that makes you exhale as the layers come together. Stunning stuff, intimate pieces that are collected and scattered across Fase Luna with the best of intentions. Third time’s the charm for the pockets of space-age funk, shuffling the deck and instigating sonic booms from the depths of Mexico and Costa Rica’s rainforests. It’s a great place to find yourself. LA Priest brings part of that experience back with him, plants it right on Fase Luna and lets it grow alongside the listener. Its climb, rise and lightness are a wonderful experience.  

Follow-up track Silent is, well, the opposite, obviously. Wouldn’t be much good if the Ratatat-clamouring and highly strung vocals of sunny voices and flowery expectations were completely deafened. Fase Luna wears its influences and experiences on its sleeve and what becomes of it is an assured and confident piece that relays one man and his guitar. What could be a write-off for those bands that sound as though they are peaking with their pub circuit appearance cannot be applied to LA Priest. He uses every little nook of his guitar to create something striking, staggered and strong. This is the raw expectation of an artist with nothing to lose in saying how he feels and moving in a direction that suits him.  

Autumn fears, vocal interjections and the oddities of outcast observations on It’s You provide real intrigue and a deep dive into LA Priest’s fascinating mind. Each piece to this album has that mellow groove underlining it all, a nice and drifting piece that makes for a tired brain’s finest experience. Lucid tones and free-spirited instrumentals are the guiding hooks on that. Misty is the rebellious side of LA Priest, a moment where he throws caution to the wind and details a heavier set of instrumental showcases. It works with a confidence that carries the rest of Fase Luna. He is free to do whatever he pleases, to take it in whichever direction. Fase Luna may have light struggles around its pace, but its guitar orientation, and the sounds Sam Eastgate can create, are wonderful. Guitar music is not dead, just the best of the bunch have moved to better genres more befitting of their talent

Assured essentials from a phenomenally interesting guitarist, who whammies, strums and positions that guitar in defiant new ways. Fase Luna provides an adept collection of a funk-like style that bleeds itself slowly and steadily into art pop. Star is the shift in that movement, responsible in its endeavour and well-worked as the centre point of the album. Neon presents collapse, Ocean showcases exactly what it says on the tin. Each part is a lush representation of LA Priest’s talents. Everything from the ground up, from the wavy experiences of lyrical range to the hammered-through deftness of those guitar solos, their unhinged variation, their lucid appeal and sensation is captured time and time again on Neon and beyond. Stick firm with it and enjoy Fase Luna, its instrumentals are of intense consistency, the man behind it all staying true to his funk-like appeal.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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