Five New Los Angeles Bands To Hear Now


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Tim Nordwind was accustomed to putting out radio-friendly pop-rock (and some truly impressive homemade music videos) with his longtime indie rock band, OK Go, practically L.A. rock royalty. Then an email introduction by a mutual friend to Drea Smith—of Brooklyn electro-pop group He Say, She Say—led to a surprisingly fruitful long-distance musical relationship. Interestingly, the two musicians traded beats and lyrics over the internet and wrote several songs before they ever met in person.

Darker, less-commercial sounds made their way into Nordwind and Smith’s first EP as Pyyramids, Human Beings, released in 2011 on Paracadute, OK Go’s label. Nordwind and Smith bonded over their love of British post-punk and Mancunian bands of the ’80s, and that same flavor of catchy dreariness seeps into songs such as “That Ain’t Right” and “Don’t Go,” built on a simple drum loop and a synthesizer melody that sounds ripped from an early Cure album. Smith’s sultry and seductive vocal delivery (described by one critic as Billie Holiday meets the Smiths, in a fitting metaphor) heightens the beautiful moodiness of the tracks.

Riding high on blogger buzz, Pyyramids honed their chops at live shows in major cities and got to work on its first full-length, Brightest Darkest Day, featuring “Don’t Go” and other standout tracks such as “Smoke and Mirrors.” The tight record has the distinction of being mixed by two proven hit-makers, OK Go’s Dan Konopka and Dave Fridmann, known for his efforts with the Flaming Lips. Brightest Darkest Day drops on Paracadute on April 9.

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