Free and legal MP3: The Luxembourg Signal (artful, guitar-oriented dream pop)

With a hypnotic groove grounded in organic drumming and a slightly off-kilter chord progression, “Laura Palmer” doesn’t reveal its “Twin Peaks” connection readily, but it’s there.

The Luxembourg SIgnal

“Laura Palmer” – The Luxembourg Signal

With a hypnotic groove grounded in organic drumming and a slightly off-kilter chord progression, “Laura Palmer” doesn’t reveal its Twin Peaks connection readily—I for one can’t make heads or tails out of the lyrics—but over the course of its almost six minutes, I do hear allusions to Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic musical landscape. Listen, for instance, to the protracted synth lines that float above the briskly moving foreground. Listen, as well, to the ominous rumble of guitar noise that rears its head down below after the 2:20 mark. And in general there’s a melancholy that weaves itself through the song that surely conjures the at once melodramatic and tragic fate of David Lynch’s mythological victim.

This is one of those fortunate longer songs that creates such a seductive atmosphere as to feel, still, rather too short than too long. To my ears, it’s the artful amalgam of voice and guitar that carries “Laura Palmer” to such an exquisite place. At first the meet-up is mostly between Betsy Moyer’s voice and one finger-picked, jangly-toned electric guitar; even though I have referred to the song’s “groove,” let me note that the feel is all gentle and melodic here, not rhythmic or beat-based. More of a wall of guitar sound emerges as the song develops, but even as the texture grows in density, an overall feeling of delicacy persists. As with Twin Peaks, the song seems to exist in its own time and place. (This isn’t nearly as weird as the TV show, however.)

The Luxembourg Signal is a seven-piece band based in Los Angeles. Various members have their roots in the band Aberdeen in the ’90s, and vocalist Beth Arzy was last seen passing through these parts as a member of Trembling Blue Stars (featured here way the hell back in 2004, for the similarly woozy, name-inspired song “Helen Reddy”). “Laura Palmer” is a song from the album Blue Field, the band’s second, released in October on Shelflife Records. MP3 via Magnet Magazine.

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