From left to right, Let's Drive to Alaska is Marisa Kirtland, Chris Garcia, Cris Holguin and Patrick Haag.
Orange County indie up and comers Let’s Drive to Alaska are an experiment.
An experiment that explores the art of sound creation and manipulation.
Moody synths meld with glitchy beats and melodic strings to create an introspective and atmospheric arrangement. Throw in a dash of post-rock sensibilities and you’ve got Let’s Drive to Alaska.
Think From Monument to Masses meets The Notwist and the softer side of Explosions In The Sky. Music you can think to, write to, sleep to and even wake up to.
The Whittier-based instrumental outfit Let’s Drive to Alaska has become an OC mainstay throughout the last six months, making an impact on the local scene with well-honed live shows that draw a good crowd even on a Monday night.
The band’s May 23rd performance at Fullerton’s Commonwealth Lounge, where I caught them live, was no exception. This is a tight group — band member Cris Holguin says they practice three times a week, upwards of five hours at a time.
Yet no one is talking about them. You can find LTDA on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Soundcloud, but a quick Google news or blog search leads to links mostly related to, of course, Sarah Palin.
LDTA is a distinct breed of band, where the music stems from one person’s creation.
It’s like Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor’s industrial rock collective. Reznor writes and records most of the music but brings a full band on tour. Conor Oberst, frontman of Bright Eyes, and Zach Condon of Beirut have similar strategies.
In this case, it’s 23-year-old Chris Garcia…at least for now.
LTDA has seen a few different lineups, and the current four-piece is just Garcia’s latest efforts to realize his musical visions.
Garcia, who started making music on his laptop in 2005, has held many monikers for his eclectic musical projects. He has The Coherent Mammals, an ambient group not too dissimilar from LTDA and the more guitar-driven The Golden Tongues, to name a few.
With the latest incarnation, Garcia has brought on solid talent for a more permanent arrangement: drummer Pat Haag (ex-Mississippi Man), sampling and effects artist Cris Holguin and violinist/celloist Marisa Kirtland.
But the still-fresh group has yet to face it’s biggest challenge — winning over the toughest crowd to date: LA hipsters.
The band knows that pull in Orange County means nothing in Los Angeles and that it’s not unusual to play to an empty audience the first few shows.
They’ll find out soon enough as their first LA show is at The Airliner Monday night.
Right now, the group is putting finishing touches on a new EP, “Floating Mammoths.” This will be the first recording to feature the current lineup.
And while the album is almost in the bag, Holguin says he is working on a groundbreaking visual set to sync up to the music during live performances.
And if you’re curious about seeing Holguin on stage hooking up his effects board to a 20″ white iMac instead of a laptop, you’ll have to ask him about the first Let’s Drive to Alaska show for that story.
Check out a track from Let’s Drive to Alaska:
Pictures from the Commonwealth Lounge show HERE.
You can watch an interview with LTDA frontman Chris Garcia here: