iTunes Single of the Week: Lake Street Dive, “Bad Self Portraits”

Lake-Street-Dive-1I’m a little late with my Single of the Week review this time up, but I’ve been enjoying the song, and considering the entire album, just because I like the sound.  Meet Lake Street Dive, a jazz/soul quartet featuring Rachel Price as lead vocalist, Bridget Kearney on bass (upright bass!), Mike “McDuck” Olson on guitar (and trumpet when it enters the mix), and Mike Calabrese as drummer.  The members met and formed a band while studying at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, so it’s fairly obvious before even listening that this is a band of musicians’ musicians, and the lead single off their album of the same title, “Bad Self Portraits”, does not disappoint my inner band geek in the least.

The song starts with a bang, literally, with a quick drum salvo that segues into a swinging retro groove, and then Price starts to tell you a little story with some impressive smoky pipes.  The Single of the Week seems to have been heavy on the breakup songs lately, but I truly don’t mind another when it’s this much fun–  it’s really about the things we do to fill the time when we’re on our own, and it’s delivered with such an upbeat melody and such delicious attitude that it’s just downright delightful.  Everything just flows together so well and is so sonically lush that they sound like a much bigger band.  Not to mention that it’s so catchy and danceable that you’ll accidentally find yourself moving your booty in your seat, or at least bobbing your head.

Price’s sultry belting isn’t the only standout– really turn up the bass and listen to Kearney go.  (I’m a bass geek.)  Olson and Calabrese are excellent as well– the entire group seems to gel into a cohesive entity that is not only greater than the sum of its parts, but a supreme pleasure to listen to.  The SeriouslyFluffy Final Grade:  A

PS  They’re awesome live, too.  Check out this cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”– performed on a sidewalk in Boston:



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