LA-natives Allah-Las are about as LA sounding as a car ride through the desert – their sound wasn’t made for riding the waves, but for steaming on the beach. Beautiful guitar notes ripple out of a haze of vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Beach Boys. It’s hot music for a hot day – “We’re feeling kind of lackadaisical” singer Miles Michaud said between songs. Judging from the quiet smiles and steady bobbing of the whole band throughout the set, the dreamy lackadaisical feeling was mutual. Their most recent self titled album was recorded their debut at the legendary and all-analog Distillery Studio with fellow labelmate and infamous singer songwriter Nick Waterhouse as producer. Just last December, while the band was touring with Nick Waterhouse, Allah-Las and stopped by KEXP to perform a few songs from their self-titled debut album (watch it here). We knew then we needed to bring them back as soon as possible, and of course the southern climate of Austin fits perfectly into their dusty sound.
As the second band on our broadcast from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop during SXSW Allah-las went on in near silence, choosing to omit the banter in favor of guitar riffs, adjustments, and exchanged glances. Composed and with sunglasses on they launched into “Don’t You Forget It,” and allowing it to melt right into the next tracks – “Tell Me What’s on Your Mind,” “I Had it All,” and “Catalina.” Gravely vocals rose up through soft oo’s and ahh’s, lending the lyrics the melancholy distant feel their self-titled album had – special emphasis on the “had” in “I had it all” felt dreamy and wending on the stage. Almost at the end they broke into their instrumental track “Sacred Sands” that allowed them to demonstrate just how tight of a group they were – the track wove and winded but never came unraveled or dull. They left the stage to cries of more – and pleased grins on both the audiences and the bands faces.