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Luminous Newts: Songs from a Local Universe

Songs from a Local Universe, the second album from the Berkeley, Calif.-based prog-pop quintet Luminous Newts, builds on the quirkiness of its 2015 self-titled debut. Newts are semiaquatic creatures, alternating between aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and with diverse prog (Genesis, Toy Matinee) and singer-songwriter (Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny) influences, this band reflects its name.

Lead vocalist Thea Kelley subtly invokes Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde on hypnotic opener “My Porcupine,” and when keyboardist Eric Kampman takes over lead vocals for “Inside Out and Over,” his Ty Tabor-like delivery gives the song a distinct King’s X vibe. The entire album flows smoothly, the distinct vocals backed by superb musicianship. Song topics range from the impact of LSD on art to the crass commercialization of 21st century culture.

On top of all that, it’s hard not to root for a band unafraid to record and release a song like the self-referential “When the Newts Cross South Park Drive” -- fun, offbeat pop with a bouncy melody akin to a sitcom theme song. (And that’s not meant as a dig.)

After 35 minutes, it’s all over and you’ll want to press play again.

Track Listing:
1. My Porcupine
2. Shine
3. Inside Out and Over
4. Green Tea and LSD
5. Commercialized
6. Dream On It
7. When the Newts Cross South Park Drive
8. Silence

Added: December 29th 2018
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Luminous Newts Website
Hits: 205
Language: english

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