TONIGHT: Halloween in September

Amble Down to release Halloween, Alaska’s new LP

Andy Plank |

 The band books a gig in the Lightbulb Forest.
The band books a gig in the Lightbulb Forest.

 It’s true, when Eau Clairians love something we latch on hard and support it 100 percent. Such is the case with Halloween, Alaska. The Minneapolis electro-pop foursome has had a place in the hearts of local music lovers and frequent concert-goers for quite some time, but the connection is even more personal after the band signed on to release its upcoming album, All Night the Calls Came In, on Amble Down Records. And lucky us, the LP even drops first right here in Eau Claire, at a Backstage Concert Series show with Laarks, two days before it’s released in the Twin Cities. Not only is Hal Al changing labels, but also developing its sound. Though the familiar synthesizers, drum machine beats, and laid back, adult contemporary aesthetic are still there, they take a backseat to thicker guitars and a more straightforward, rock-heavy pop attitude. All Night is at times more aggressive than anything we’ve heard on the band’s previous three full-lengths, yet it’s the most accessible album in the band’s discography as well. Never before has a simple riff taken the rip-roarin’ lead like it does on Analogue, nor have James Diers’ vocals been so insatiably catchy in a bubble-gum sweet kind of way as they are on Empire Waist. Sure, Halloween, Alaska is still technically from Minneapolis, but Eau Clairians should be able to take a bit of pride in this great new album, too. After all, we are putting it out!