By WES THOMAS
ALBANY — When Rockaway Beach duo Lewis Del Mar decided to share its first single, “Loud(y),” on-line, it had no idea that it would receive the instant attention it did — hitting No. 1 on Hype Machine in less than a week, and garnering the attention of most major labels.
Now with a major label deal in hand and invites to many of the major festivals, Lewis Del Mar’s popularity is poised to explode, which is why I’m grateful the band stopped at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen on June 16 to give Albany a taste of this hybrid of Alt J meets Jack Johnson with a Kanye-esque produced vibe.
I don’t think that there has been a show yet this year that I was as excited to see as this Lewis Del Mar show. My true fan boy came out and had me creeping around the Hollow during sound check, just waiting to hear that distinct tone of the acoustic guitar that is featured on so many of LDM tracks.
It was a little past 10 p.m. when LDM took the stage officially, and I think the band instantly captured the audience, myself included, in a trance-like state that finally snapped after the first three songs. For some reason, this incredibly pure, authentic, soulful voice was not what I was expecting from singer-guitarist Danny Miller — maybe because it was hard for me to see the folk or blues side of this project until seeing them live.
Now, all of the critics’ buzz was becoming clearer. This wasn’t just some producer with computer. These are two modern day songwriters expressing their vision with a combination of old and new tools. Max Hardwood, drummer and producer, is responsible for the samples and sounds that build that electronic industrial sound, as well as combining acoustic drum into the mix.
We were especially lucky to get to hear them perform most of the new album, since we were one of the few headlining stops that they’ve had. But clearly everyone was partial to the four songs from its EP, since that’s all we have until the LP is released. Of course, the show stopper of the night was “Loud(y).” I would have never expected “Loud(y)” to be a sing-along type of song, but the crowd certainly turned it into one. When finished, the crowd continued to scream and applaud so loudly for so long that Hardwood and Miller seemed to be sincerely taken a back and overwhelmed by the response.
As is becoming common with many of the indie bands, the band performed an encore but never left the stage. Lewis Del Mar had an exceptional backing band with them — Drew Hart on bass, Seon Gomez on guitar and Nick Chatham on keys, sampler and backing vocals. I believe that we’ll all be hearing a lot more from Lewis Del Mar in the future. We can only hope.