Pin It

CD Review: Klessa--"Aloha Demons" 


Klessa, Aloha Dreams
(2010, Independent)

If Klessa had formed in, say, an upscale neighborhood of Brooklyn, the band’s peculiar mix of instrumentation—piano, clarinet, bells, and accordion are prominent; the drums are softly hammered or whisked; guitars are an afterthought—would likely come clad in preppie corduroy and bourgeois pretension. As it is, this charming New Paltz quartet projects earthy sincerity and a deceptively ramshackle DIY sensibility; just because the 10 songs on Aloha Demons clatter and shuffle and proudly show their seams doesn’t mean they haven’t been painstakingly arranged (for example, all four members sing in constantly varying combinations and intensities).
The welcoming tone of the title isn’t ironic: Aloha Demons finds Klessa engaging ghosts of all sorts—wrestling with the past, filling houses with poltergeists, and dancing with the layers of personality we all wear around like clothes in winter. Midway through the rhyming lament “Song Never Sung,” the tune falls away, leaving the group to solemnly intone, “You pushed your head under pillows in your bed / Screaming: ‘I want back what has been made dead.’” As carefully crafted as each song is, however, the energy level slumps in the second half, as too many of the band’s songs follow similar pacing and a (novel, at first) refusal to build songs along a standard verse-chorus-verse structure. As a first effort, Aloha Demons has oodles of spirit; in time, expect Klessa to find better ways of showing off its low-light magic. www.myspace.com/plancakes.
click to enlarge cd-klessa.jpg

Speaking of Klessa, Brooklyn

  • A review of Klessa's "Aloha Dreams"

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Making the Cut: Decora

    A more serious and committed Hudson Valley musical figure than Decora does not come to mind. Everything the 32-year-old does and says comes with a breathtaking level of locked-down, unwaveringly intense focus.
    • Nov 1, 2015
  • The Way Home: Yungchen Lhamo

    Peter Aaron writes about the Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo.
    • Feb 1, 2016

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Music

  • Art of Business: Bardavon
  • Art of Business: Bardavon

    See a show at the Bardavon this season. You won't be disappointed.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Turning the Turntables
  • Turning the Turntables

    This month, we once again ring in the new year with a specially selected panel of Hudson Valley music mavens, who run down their top releases of 2016 and talk current crushes and future faves along the way.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson

    Handpicked by music editor Peter Aaron for your listening pleasure.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • More »

Related to Music

  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Mike Wolf

Hudson Valley Tweets