By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
What do you do after your rock band has conquered the musical world and is on a break before producing another album?
If you're The Strokes' Fabrizio Moretti, you get in touch with your Brazilian bloodlines, start a new band with your girlfriend and name it after your favorite pub in Los Angeles' Echo Park. Little Joy's eponymous debut album was released earlier this month on Rough Trade Records and is filled with warm vocals and clap-along beats and melodies that make it a winter survival kit on disc; its nostalgic, soft-around-the-edges sound is the perfect soundtrack to daily life as the weather grows drearier and daylight becomes a fleeting luxury.
Moretti, his lady friend Binky Shapiro and Rodrigo Amarante use a diverse arsenal of instruments including the glockenspiel, tenor guitar, ukulele and Mellotron to create songs so lulling and lush that they're nearly addictive—"Brand New Start," with its old timey horn section, is almost impossible to turn off.
Portland-based upbeat folky rockers the Dead Trees and promising Dallas upstart Cocky Americans open.