s self-titled effort plays like your average synth-pop album — ‘80s synth waves, floaty female vocals — until the third track, when Matt Pryor’
s distinctive voice enters the chorus. Lasorda’s super-group status and wise editing turn out to be its distinguishing features in a crowded genre.
In addition to Pryor (of the Get Up Kids and the New Amsterdams), the project is composed of Suzannah Johannes, who handles those floaty vocals, Nate Harold of fun., Dustin Kinsey of the New Amsterdams, and several other collaborators. Lasorda avoids sounding as crowded as its recording studio must’ve been, however, by wisely choosing to focus on Johannes’s vocals and those synths. When they go beyond that — as with the industrial sound effects on “Fivefivefourtwo” or when Pryor takes the lead on the chorus of “Basque on the Borderline” — the effect verges on twee. Pryor is the Gillian Anderson of pop; just as her presence can’t help but radiate X-Files, his instantly-recognizable voice makes any project sound like a GUK variation.
The synth-pop itself, though, is refreshingly un-twee. “The Age of Wonder” plays with crescendos laid over peppy drums to create a warm web of an opener for Johannes’s innocent lyrics (“tell me about the moon and what you call these lights”). “Interlaid” picks up the tempo and keeps Lasorda from getting sleepy too early, a fatal flaw of much electronic music. “The time distorts you,” Johannes coos playfully, the music itself distorting behind her. “Echo in the Night” is full-on ‘80s flair, done to great effect.
With 11 tracks at mostly two or three minutes long apiece, Lasorda wisely keeps things moving. The sound is essentially an energized version of Beach House with a poppier edge — a charming little low-calorie confection to pep up a dark winter’s night.
Essential Tracks: “Interlaid”, “Echo in the Night”