Craft Spells is more summery and New Romantic than the rest of the artists on this list, but Seattle-via-California frontman Justin Paul Vallesteros' voice, sometimes an Ian Curtis-esque whisper, other times a confident croon, nails a sort of '80s nostalgia that connotes darkness, even when bringing light into the room. It's the band you retreat to when you need a break from Christian Death or want to find a suitable way to soundtrack an outsider's love story (hell, they have a song called "Scandinavian Crush"). Captured Tracks has released a 7? and is set to put out the band's debut LP Idle Labor next week.
Idle Labor is dark, yes, it's shadowy and moody, but it's also romantic and uplifting and groovy--complex in all the right places. It's a sublime record--check next week's issue for more, including my recent evening at a practice with the band. In the meantime, here's the video for "After the Moment," which recently premiered on Pitchfork.
Craft Spells is playing a release show at the Vera Project on Sunday, April 3. Soft Moon and Witch Gardens will open. The show is all ages. 7:30 p.m., $8--buy tickets!