La Pieta makes pleasant, literal indie pop with a female vocal and a limited musical appeal. The trio’s style is simple, building off acoustic-strummed guitars, shuffling bass and an unhurried sense of expanded time. Of course, this simplicity can go too far; as on the opening of “Fireflies”, where singer Rachel states “I am happy”. The accompaniment is so sparse that too much emphasis is placed on the vocals, which come off as self-absorbed rather than revelatory. There is a childish quality to her voice that allows her to drop moments of poignancy—“I just called to say goodnight”, say, on “Inside Out”—but too often the choice phrase is repeated too much or turned into a sort of minimal chorus, robbing the words of their emotional value. Occasionally, though, the group hits on an image with great strength: on “The Party”, Rachel sings about a man with a moustache at the party, and it stays on, long after the song’s staid chords have faded.
- "The Party" MP3
// Notes from the Road
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