Sound Advice: Alex Napping with Leggy (Oct. 28)

Compelling Texas Indie Art Pop foursome comes to MOTR Pub for a free show.

click to enlarge Alex Napping - Photo: HELMUT Studio
Photo: HELMUT Studio
Alex Napping
If Alex Napping’s 2013 album debut, This is Not a Bedroom, was an introductory to an Indie Guitar Pop band with a lot of promise, this year’s Mise En Place full-length cashes in on that promise… and then some. Between the releases, the Austin, Texas-based four-piece developed into something more multi-dimensional, building the supple atmospherics, trickling guitar sparkle, magnetic rhythms and melodic potency of its debut into a paragon of mesmerizing, majestic Art Pop.

That Alex Napping’s music ripened between its two albums isn’t surprising given that the six-song Bedroom came out not long after the group’s formation and nearly four years went by (the two-song Trembles release from last year — based on a short story written by the band’s compelling, enigmatic vocalist and guitarist Alex Cohen — hinted at the growth, justifiably garnering broader attention from the likes of NPR and BBC Radio 1). It’s the extent of the artistic progression that is so impressive, a testament to the musicians’ inspired, confident vision and their ability to realize it so successfully.

Alex Napping’s intoxicating blend of ethereal Pop, clean, serene and colorful Shoegaze and hyper-melodic Indie Rock irresistibly recalls artists from AltRock’s formative ’90s, as well as a few of today’s Indie Pop redefiners, but it more significantly evokes some of music’s more futuristic-minded visionaries. The quartet’s debut for indie imprint Father/Daughter Records, Mise En Place refracts the vivacity of bands like Lush, The Spinanes and Vampire Weekend through a kaleidoscope lens similar to ones employed by groundbreaking stargazers from Kate Bush to Björk to St. Vincent. But it still results in a signature sound all Alex Napping’s own, transcending the Guitar Pop platitudes of Bedroom and ending up in a more blissfully undefinable realm.

With distinctive, uniquely structured songs that are dreamy without being sleepy and familiar without ever being predictable, Mise En Place shows Alex Napping to be one of the more captivating acts in contemporary Indie Pop.

Click here for more on this free show.