A happy combination of style and substance. Front man Noah Lit makes no bones about his admiration for the so-called “gypsy jazz” of Django Reinhardt, but he has funneled his devotion through a filter of rock’n’roll songcraft, as he is likewise an attentive student of the Beatles, the Kinks, Wilco, Radiohead, and other masters of the form past and present. The end result is something at once exotic and immediate. We get world-music rhythms, elegant gypsy flourishes, and the beauty of thoughtfully composed melody lines sung with pleasure and command.
We’ve heard similar sounds coming out of the indie rock world over the last decade; Beirut in particular comes to mind. Properly done, I don’t think we can get too much of this stuff. When you combine thoughtful songwriting with musical flair and instrumental virtuosity, there’s not much to complain about, as far as I’m concerned. Lit helps himself a lot with his agile singing. even as I have no idea what he’s singing about. This is one of those songs in which the words exist more for their sonic qualities than their meaning. In and around the evocative soundscape, they weave a spell. By the time the gypsy instruments move center stage (2:42), there is nothing to do but surrender.
Lit is based in Los Angeles and was previously in a band called Oliver Future. “On and On” is a track from the album Anthems for a Stateless Nation, which was actually released back in October on Silence Breaks Records, but appears to have fallen into something of a black hole since then. Well worth seeking out. MP3 via Magnet Magazine.