Local favorites Ava Luna played their first headlining show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night to celebrate the release of their new studio album, Moon 2, which was released on Friday September 8th. Ava Luna is sitting at about 10 years as a band and their experience and their chemistry become obvious to the audience from the first moment they take the stage. Each of the five band members is a pillar, holding up the innumerable traits that make Ava Luna’s sound so unique.
Julian Fader and Ethan Bassford are a whole lot more than just a solid rhythm section. So many of the band’s songs, especially the latest tunes, rely heavily on the bassline and percussion that the duo’s synchronicity is crucial to the danceability that most of their work includes. In addition to these two, the band also has a trifecta of incredibly talented front-people. Most bands don’t even have one capable lead but the Kaufmann-Hernandez-Douglass dynamic of Ava Luna is a one-two-three punch as good as anyone’s.
Although founder guitarist/vocalist Carlos Hernandez’s vocal workload has definitely been lightened on Moon 2, the songs he does sing, past and present, are truly indie-rock gems with indie-soul flavor—much of what has become the band’s signature sound. Recently, he released his debut solo album which presumably would have been the continuation of the old Ava Luna aesthetic had they not evolved into a powerhouse of collaboration. Becca Kauffman and Felicia Douglass have also blossomed into impressive front-people. In tandem with (or possibly as a result of) Kaufmann’s solo performances as her alter ego Jennifer Vanilla, her onstage theatrics are unabashedly larger-than-life and the songs she belts out are show-stopping. Felicia Douglass’s stock has been rising since Ava Luna’s previous release as well. In addition to fronting the indie-pop quartet Gemma, Douglass has joined legendary group The Dirty Projectors. The catchiness of her melodies paired with the R&B-like quality of her voice melt me into a puddle on the venue floor every time.
I could have watched them play all night. Possibly all week. Ava Luna has the potential to be one of the biggest bands in the world and at the very least, they could be the definitive New York band of the decade.
Article: Bobby Lewis