REVERB: Telepathic Liberation Army: Rock Clairvoyance

This quartet wants you. To dance.

Lisa Orth's studio loft on Capitol Hill is filled with the sound of barking dogs and the whir of power tools. The Telepathic Liberation Army leader just found out her lease has been extended for another three years, so she's remodeling the industrial space to better accommodate her multiple gigs as a musician, DJ, and promoter of notoriously off-the-hook dance parties. "We're reinforcing the floor," she says, gesturing to the freshly installed plywood planks in the middle of the room. "People dance so much on there that I worry about them falling through!"Orth has a long history of being both an instigator and a participant in Seattle's music community. Starting in the '90s with highly melodic, stylistically aggressive post-punk bands such as 66 Saints and Parini, she carved out a reputation as a formidable frontwoman worthy of inclusion with as fearless groundbreakers like Team Dresch's Donna Dresch, Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein, or Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna. Her interests eventually expanded to include queer-centric dance nights geared toward the ladies, including successful club nights like Lick, Cherry, and Hot Mess.About two years ago, she got interested in getting back on the mike, and started Telepathic Liberation Army with bassist Michelle Nolan (Shoplifting, Chromatics), Diamond Cut Diamond guitarist Alice Wilder, and drummer Stacy Peck. "I had this name, Telepathic Liberation Army, which I used for a couple different off-shoot things that never [came to fruition], but I loved the name and held on to it. We all were already close friends, so when I got the bug to play music again, I called them."All it took was one informal rehearsal for the four to commit to the collaboration, although developing their sound took time. "It wasn't really that serious to begin with," she explains. "We just hung out in my office and jammed on whatever instruments we had. And after the very first time we did, we realized it was pretty awesome, so we just got a practice studio and started playing together."The resulting meld is a striking, fierce, fresh-sounding amalgam of art-damaged punk, feverish dance rhythms, and dark, dub beats, with a riveting live presence that's impossible to look away from. After a couple of years of practice and live shows, TLA entered Mysterious Red X studio in Georgetown with local producer Erik Blood to produce a six-song EP, set for release on Don't Stop Believin' Records this November. "We got a slow start, but we spent a lot of time refining what we wanted the music to sound like and just getting everything to gel."rocketqueen@seattleweekly.com

 
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