Ava Luna Brings Magic to Mercury Lounge

It was the last night of an extensive, cross-country tour, but Ava Luna bore minimal signs of fatigue at their New York homecoming show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday night. With an opening set from the DFA-approved Sinkane, the band showcased tracks from their latest release, Ice Level. Despite the title, their sound is all warmth; front man Carlos Hernandez’s soul roots run deep, and it shows.

The crystal clear harmonies of Becca Kauffman (guitar/vocals) and Felicia Douglass (synths/vocals) bring plenty of Dirty Projectors comparisons, but they get ethereal while keeping their feet on the dance floor. (Side note: props to Kauffman for being able to pull off that Pantone orange eye shadow look.) Ice Level highlights like “No F” and “Wrenning Day” hold up solidly live, though the ambition of their sound is meant for bigger stages. With funk influences flipped into unexpected structures, delivered with precision, they should be moving on up in no time at all.

Ava Luna performs at Knitting Factory this Friday. Sinkane will be performing at Zebulon the next two Mondays and at Afropunk Festival.