Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Incoming: Sondre Lerche & Willy Mason at El Rey Theatre - Tonight (3/21)

It’s boys with guitars and emotions on parade when these heartfelt folkies come together. Norwegian jangle-maker Sondre Lerche (pictured) has been strumming his clever guitar pop for a few albums now, but his latest, Phantom Punch, is packed with surprises. Gone are the easy, gentle breezes of early tunes, replaced by a manic, borderline punk crunch atop his trademark melodies. Willy Mason is the current sensation, trading in the kind of classic, socially aware folk you’d expect from a kid raised by musician types on Martha’s Vineyard. He was discovered by the keen ears of Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, and his worldly, husky croon already has the Brits calling him the latest “new Dylan” — none less than Radiohead handpicked him to open a series of dates. His recently released If the Ocean Gets Rough adds a warm, ornate edge that should further endear him to the NPR set.

(Originally published in the LA Weekly, 3/07)