Finally, a band I'd get off my lazy ass to go see. The self-titled debut album of Kubist Hall is, hands down, a winner. Combining robust yet yearning melodies with exquisite piano work, this Los Angeles trio makes the music Tori Amos used to make, except Andrew Kurtz (incidentally, a '98 Boise High graduate) can sing without sliding into preciousness. Kurtz comes off as sensitive without being a wuss, and that's damn hard to do.
There really isn't a weak track here, but "The Rose," "Coming Back Home" and the beautifully sweet instrumental "The Dancing Courtesan" are the highlights. Working mainly with piano, drums and bass, the trio achieves a rich, clean sound that manages to be luminous with just a whiff of menace. I know that sounds freakin' weird, but it's one hell of a combination.
Everything about this disc is sharp: The sound, the production, even the cover art, which displays a low-budget but stylish sensibility. I do have a complaint, though. This album is only 37 minutes long. That ain't nearly enough, but hey, that's why bands go on tour, which is why they're stopping by the Record Exchange. Go see them and be enthralled.
Kubist Hall plays a free show July 15 at the Record Exchange at 8 p.m.