A long time ago, in the year 2014, Lectra Lust poked their heads out of the pop music shadows and stepped into a neon spotlight. The group welded equal parts ’80s new wave and modern indietronica together at local venues with dream party vibes and throwback synthesizer tones.
After a little time regularly gigging and dropping an EP of celestial synth lullabies called Footnotes, Lectra Lust seemed to take a break from frequent shows. The lack of new music over the next four years pushed the band to the wayside. The scene has changed a lot between 2015 and today, but the local love for good times and dance beats is unkillable, making the latest Lectra Lust LP Rendezvous an always welcome addition to the Charleston electro canon.
For fans of the lavish textures found on Footnotes, it won’t be easy to hear that Lectra Lust actually finished Rendezvous almost a year ago. “We got done with the drum tracking and some of the main stuff probably three plus years ago, maybe four,” says vocalist and keyboardist Joe Davies. “We didn’t have all of the vocals written and we didn’t have a lot of certain overdubs written. We actually went a little crazy on overdubs.”
The painstaking process is present on most of the album’s electric orchestral sound.
“Without You” opens the album with the band stacking instruments and the fader slowly ascending to the top of the soundboard. The electronic instruments pop and crackle, while the guitar slowly finds a more aggressive voice as the song continues. The tight drumming keeps the energy of the song alive as the keys and strings subtly alter the riff to keep the song lively.
The sun shines bright in the flashy melodies on “True.” Lectra Lust channels the Cars in the vocals and guitar hook, providing several musical phrases that the band doesn’t repeat. The track is certainly one that will get several rotations before the listener grasps everything going down. “It’s simple, it’s poppy, catchy,” says Davies. “It’s got a bunch of breakaway moments.”
On the lyrical side of the equation, the frontman says that there’s a motif of introspection on Rendezvous. “We aren’t really ones to talk or look out beyond ourselves,” Davies states. “When we practice, we always get holed up in our little room and we hang out.”
“Tender Eyes” has observations of isolation in its ’80s stylings. “One step forward on a lonely road/ And judgement follows where nobody goes/ A little bit of me with a lot of lies/ Never a plan without a disguise,” Davies sings.
“[“Tender Eyes”] is the one I like the most because it’s about bands and their audiences,” he says about the song. “It’s hard to keep them entertained with just you as a band, when right when you’re done, even that night, there’s another band coming right up.”
On the album’s closing track “Knuckle Buster,” the band gets in touch with their inner Talking Heads, getting funky and abstract, in that order. “And red was green/ And blue was brown/ I said this whole world turned upside down/ And the blind could see/ And the lies were true,” the band sings. And much like the Talking Heads, you can’t exactly tell where the social commentary ends and the party begins, but Lectra Lust wears it well.
“The buildup of introspection helps our one night of being extroverts,” Davies comments about the overall lyrical content on the LP.
While Davies describes the process of doing music in this long-form as “turbulent,” the thematic material on the album looks back and forward at the band.
“Before these songs were recorded, they had been in my mind or in some of our bandmates’ minds for five or six years,” the vocalist explains. “It’s just an encapsulation of the time playing music with Lectra Lust.”