Published May 01, 2012The fact that, back in the day, three kids from Canada chose to buck the all-encompassing rock and hip-hop trend to craft introspective world music may just tell you something about LAL's level of sophistication. The T.O. trio's fourth proper release, and first since 2008's conceptual triumph, Deportation, deserves the often-misused descriptor of "genre-hopping," as Nicholas 'Murr' Murray's steely electronics work organically alongside Ian de Sousa's gaping West coast funk grooves and Rosina Kazi's fearless, contained vocals. On tracks like the sunlight-absorbing "Red Room" and the translucent "Live Your Light," Kazi's delivery is more aligned with Sade's country and western fascinations than her Toronto chanteuse peers. Like many other groove-based artists, LAL keep things textural and fluid, but it's the trio's ability to create songs with a social slant that give "Look Behind" and "Old Cities" so much added gravity. The glossy production of "Bunch of Maybes" and album closer "I Know Your Face" manage to pull off that rare feat of sounding fashionable and forward-moving without being "of the moment" or yearningly insecure. LAL's self-titled LP doesn't break down barriers as much as it simply ignores them. This is a truly Canadian sounding release from an outfit largely uninterested in such narrow descriptors.
Read an interview with LAL here. (Urbnet)