Latvian Radio, a mostly local indie rock band, recently released a new album titled “Kill the Static,” a follow up to 2009′s “Seven Layers of Self-Defense. “
“The feedback so far says this is more of a power pop record, and I guess I agree with that,” says lead singer Patric Westoo. “Maybe a bit of New Wave in there as well; I have been listening to the first few Roxy Music records a lot as of late. “
Music blog Absolute Powerpop described the record as, “a mix of Shins-like indie pop, Brendan Benson and Elvis Costello.”
Personally, I would second the Shins comparison; “Kill the Static” supplies that same sort of pop instrumentation while fused with a more human rhythm guitar and singing delivery, broaching themes of growing old and living change.
It’s a conscious album, through and through, and if anything, it shows Westoo’s skill as a songwriter to be pretty considered.
“I have always been interested in songwriters that look inwards instead of outwards, so I guess thats what I try to do as well,” says Westoo. “Life gets more and more complicated with time, and I think its a lot more interesting when writers personalize that struggle instead of drawing broad strokes about politics, religion, love and understanding. If you can fit it all into a 3 minute pop song with some energy and a melody, then you’ve got my attention. “
About the record, Westoo noted it took two years to produce, a length a time generated by the long distance between band members.
“I’ve lived in New York for awhile now, and the rest of the band – Kim Monday, Mark Poole and Adam Jones – lives in the Morgantown area,” says Westoo. “I constantly write songs and have more than I usually need sitting around, but we cant record them until I take a trip to Morgantown. I do some parts here in New York, sometimes, but I dont want to mess with the process too much. “
Because of the distance issue, Westoo notes that performing live is sort of an issue, but not one he hasn’t found a solution for.
“Latvian Radio shows are a bit schizophrenic in the sense that there are two versions of the live performance outfit,” says Westoo. “Like I said earlier, the core of the band is in Morgantown, so when we play in the area, thats the band. In addition to that, I have a NYC version of the live band, and since I live here in New York, this version of the band plays more gigs. “
Westoo says future shows in the Morgantown area are sort of up in the air at the moment, but he says he means to return to Motown as soon as he can.
So far, “Kill the Static” has received mostly positive reactions. The band’s Facebook page sports various comments of approval.
“Kill the Static is a GREAT album. Nice work guys!” says Facebook fan Luann Gibbs.
And according to Westoo, the enjoyment even extends beyond United States’ borders.
“The Power Pop community in Spain, for instance, has really taken to it and are calling it one of the most pleasant surprises of the year,” says Westoo. “It’s always cool when you can reach people that you are not closely connected to.”
For more on Latvian Radio, you can check out the band’s website, latvianradio.net.
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