Photo by Jose Martinez
It is always with great pleasure when we are asked to premiere new music, and this is no exception. ‘Heaven On The Rocks’ is the debut full length release from Virginia Beach based four piece Ladada, a project originally conceived as a solo effort by Josiah Schlater. Since forming as a full band, Ladada have gone on to release a number of very well received EPs and singles that has brought them to this moment – Their debut album.
Its twelve tracks are seamless and elegant with a deep lo-fi , surf infused charm. Opening with an instrumental, the album quickly leads into its upbeat title track full of glorious harmonies and melodies, a real highlight of the album. Through many of the tracks Ladada maintain a beautiful nostalgic thread bringing together sounds of the 60s and fusing it with modern indie influence exemplified through ‘Float Away’, a woozy, almost Tame Impala-esque single.
With all albums ‘Heaven On The Rocks’ takes a slower turn through tracks ‘Earth Jam’ and ‘Endless Summer III’, but quickly explodes back into life with one of the more raucous track on the album ‘My Van’, a two-minute blast of upbeat summer tones that is quickly followed by the equally upbeat and superbly dynamic ‘Diva’. The album signs off in style with ‘Oh Love’, a song that absolutely typifies what this band are all about with bright, fun rhythms, expressive, laid back melodies and an upbeat and infectious energy.
If we actually gave albums a rating this would score high, maybe an 8 or 9. It’s a superb album from a band who have absolutely honed in on their sound and have written 12 exceptional tunes. The only criticism would be pointed at the overall dynamism of the album, the speed and character of the songs does vary from song to song but without straying too far from the safety zone. That being said this is an fine, fine album that should be on everyone’s summer playlists, perfect for those longer evenings when you need a little injection of upbeat energy.