When local four-piece Una de Luna released its debut album, Conspiracy, in 2008, it was hailed as sexy, goth-y trip-hop. While much of that vibe remains on the follow-up, Lunacy, there's something more forward, more aggressively dance-y about this one.
The band — fronted by Marla Degenhardt, with Peter Guellard doing a lot of utility work as a writer and instrumentalist — is releasing Lunacy through Psychotribe, a label on which Guellard's put out work by his previous band, Mace, as well. But instead of the normal play-a-show thing, Una de Luna is working on something a little more novel.
This past summer, the band released a video for the album's first single, "Gravity," using GoPano, a 360-degree lens attachment for an iPhone that allows the user to make panoramic videos. With help from a Kickstarter campaign that ends this weekend, the members hope to put together a 360-degree interactive live-streamed show that the online audience can control with the click of a mouse.
Lunacy mixes new wave-based songs — like "Gravity" — with a flair for contemporary electronic dance music. (Listen to the wubby bass on "Kiss the Villain," for example.) But the band's signature laid-back trip-hop beats (and signature sitar) return on tracks like "Supernatural." Degenhardt's vocals are beautiful, if sometimes a bit too formal-sounding for the music. (She's clearly a well-trained singer; we just happen to be used to screamers and whisperers in pop music.)
It's good to see a band that explores a bit without losing focus on its follow-up, and Una de Luna pulls it off on Lunacy. Exploratory as anything is the 360-degree-video idea — which, with a little funding bump this week, could put the band on the map outside of Pittsburgh.