Material: Self-described as “electronic indie-pop,” Lade has the soulful harmonized lounge vibe of Zero 7 with space-related themes that makes the overall sound unique. Radiohead is an influence, and the similarity is there only in comparison with the more pop friendly songs. Lade is not too experimental and is definitely not a jam band. Edenburg has something to say in morality tales such as “No Good Human Beings.” However, this is not just message music but outright poetry on songs like the evocative “Pulsar.”
Musicianship: Unfortunately, with six people on stage, Milewski’s electric drums are mostly drowned out in the mix. “Asleep” was the one song in the set where he really came through, because his introduction was spotlighted in the song composition. Edenburg gets lots of good trickle tone from his retro ‘60s style Epiphone on “Make A Move,” which adds a SoCal Rock flavor to the group’s sound. Notably he warns his sound guy before unplugging and plugging in his guitar, sparing the audience loud pops and feedback. Hadley incorporates a cool lap steel sound on “Asleep” and also contributes terrific solos on “Pulsar.”
Performance: Halfway through the set Edenburg and Lang played an acoustic cover of Aimee Mann’s “Save Me.” For the first few songs the bass work felt mostly foundational with not a lot of room for improvisation, so it was cool to see Lang really take off once he pulled out his standing bass for a solo that was met by a well-deserved round of applause.
Edenburg engaged the audience with amusing banter and thanked them and the venue throughout the set. The vocal melodies were catchy, with hooks worthy of a space opera. “Squeaky Clean” and “Asleep” were songs that display a fun interplay between the male and female vocals of Edenburg and Savage.
Summary: This was a well-polished debut performance from Lade. What grabbed listeners most was the overall passionate vocal delivery. In the event the group ever plays a venue with bad sound, they may want to consider bringing the drum levels down even more for the lyric sections of the music.
The Players: Ethan Edenburg, vocals, guitar; Avena Savage, backup vocals; Eric Jackowitz, drums; Brian Lang, bass; Alec Milewski, electronic drummer; Mark Hadley, synth.
Venue: The Mint
City: Los Angeles, CA