L.A. Weekly
Falling James

Best Power-Pop Band
Like a young dandelion stubbornly pushing its head through a gap in the sidewalk, the local power-pop scene stubbornly continues to thrive even as it’s often overlooked in favor of hipper and glossier music genres. This city is lucky that such iconic pop figures as ’60s singer-songwriter Evie Sands and The Textones’ Carla Olson continue to make great music in easily accessible living room–size venues. Meanwhile, about half of SoCal’s underrated pop geniuses can be spied lurking in the backup bands of Brian Wilson and Dave Davies. On top of that, such disparate veterans as Sparks and The Last are direct connections to the 1970s, when the energy of power pop felt like a natural antidote to the increasingly antiseptic pop on the radio. The Cherry Bluestorms top the list this year on the basis of their excellent 2018 album, Whirligig! Co-singers Deborah Gee and Glen Laughlin contrast a snazzy remake of The Beatles’ “She Said She Said” with majestic original pop anthems “Seven League Boots” and “Purple Heart Magic.”


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