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| @avalunaband | facebook.com/avaluna


The roots of Brooklyn-based indie art funk septet Ava Luna began in frontman Carlos Hernandez's high-school bedroom, where he would write and record songs under the name Ava. In college he met Julian Fader and Nathan Tompkins, and the three of them changed the band name to Ava Luna, figuring "Ava" was probably already taken by a more prominent act somewhere. Hernandez spent time as an engineer and working on various small-scale noise and punk projects after college, with Ava Luna coming in and out of focus as the years went on. With 2009's 3rd Avenue Island, a homemade CD-R release, the band congealed yet again, this time featuring Hernandez on vocals with a host of various singers and a minimal musical backdrop of drums and synthesizers. The band followed in 2010 with the Services EP, featuring a different lineup and a sound that continued toward the heavy vocal harmonies of bands like Dirty Projectors with increasingly obtuse neo-soul-inspired musical backdrops. A proper debut surfaced in 2012 with the release of Ice Level. By this point the band was more or less in a stable lineup, featuring Hernandez on vocals and guitar, Fader on drums, Tompkins on synths, Ethan Bassford on bass, and a trio of female singers, Felicia Douglass, Becca Kauffman, and Anna Sian. The group toured in support of Ice Level, opening some larger shows for Twin Sister. They returned with the less chaotic follow-up Electric Balloon in 2014. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi