- Steve Polyester
- Roses and Cherries
- Coat of Shellac
- Infinite House
- Black Dog
- Best Hexagon
While on a writing retreat in the sleepy southern town of Benton, Mississippi, the members of New York's Ava Luna came across an abandoned house while on a walk through the woods. Overgrown, rotting, and littered with evidence of its past inhabitants, the maze-like dwelling would haunt their psyches throughout the writing and recording of their third full-length Infinite House. Like Borges' Library of Babel, the seemingly endless rooms and hallways in the old house felt like a metaphor for the invisible, internal labyrinths, which the band explores lyrically and sonically on their new album.
Self-recorded in Benton and at Gravesend Recordings, the Brooklyn studio run by drummer Julian Fader and vocalist/guitar player Carlos Hernandez, and mixed by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Sleater-Kinney), it is safely their most polished recording to date. But their trademark intensity, mirthful humor, and angularity remain resolutely in place, the burnished surfaces illuminating the stories beneath like never before. As Hernandez explains "Dave Fridmann was able to augment this music in a really special way, removing it from the literal realm and putting it in a really psychedelic/fictional place."
After returning from their writing retreat, familiar themes of amorous pursuits, financial woes, and inevitable mortality return to the fore. But the landscape of New York life looks somehow different now, colored by the band's foray into the misty southern gothic. On album opener “Company,” a text message flirtation becomes a modern take on the story of Pyramus, two lovers whispering through the walls. On “Roses & Cherries,” a ruby-colored fabric comes to life -- a peek at the lyrics sheet reveals a reference to Cortazar's Hopscotch. A family member’s death seems forewarned by an apparition in the Benton woods: the Black Dog. On “Billz,” financial woes are mandrake roots cling to a hill, then a mangled elevator is caught between floors. The mood grows noticeably unhinged and otherworldly on the psych-dub jam “Victoria,” before the album closes with the beautifully somber “Carbon.”
Ethan Bassford, Felicia Douglass, Julian Fader, Carlos Hernandez & Rebecca Kauffman