Ian Moore and the Lossy Coils
El Sonido Nuevo
Spark and Shine
When this guy skips the emo-pop, he can really set a CD player on fire. A fixture of the Austin scene for over a decade, Ian Moore and his highly praised cheekbones have bounced around, nosing for commercial success but always missing it by “just that much.” Now he mixes the upbeat pop sensibility with a finger-picked guitar sound and takes us back to the days of Dave Edmunds and the punk melting pot of 1977.
Starting strong, “Secondhand Store” blasts out of the gate with a rollicking beat and the thought “everybody’s looking for a cheap thrill.” When that’s not an option, “Tap the Till” offers introspection and unhappiness with seven girls trying to help him through the darkness. That’s insufficient — he pushes on to “Birds of Prey,” which might be the soulful, almost country hit we seek as we stumble down 6th Street in search of love, or at least that perfect mix of hipster cool and Baptist morality. Proto-hits ebb and flow: slow dance “Hillary Step” and Monkees-influenced “New Found Station” delight, and by the end of the collection, it’s clear this guy writes and performs gem-like pop songs, and knows how to rip your heart out when his life drifts off the rails. It’s country, but without the stupid hats and chaps.