It’s been three years since LVL UP released their debut album, Space Brothers, and a lot has happened in that time. The band went on an extensive tour, they released a great EP and another great split with Porches., and members Dave Benton and Mike Caridi built their label Double Double Whammy from a place to release their debut into one of the most consistently great DIY labels around. All the while, they were slowly working away at their sophomore effort, Hoodwink’d — the work of a band at the top of their game. Combining the intensity of their Extra Worlds EP and the lo-fi charisma of their debut, they’ve made some truly next-level shit. “Soft Power” is the first song to be unveiled from the LP; it’s slick and tightly wound indie rock and, as with every LVL UP song, it’s chock full of riffs and ideas without ever feeling overstuffed. While some of their earlier lyrics were obscured by reverb, they’re mostly front and center here, and well worth paying attention to: “There is nothing wrong with being nice/ unless it’s just a front to get yourself by/ and I can tell/ So what the hell/ I don’t think I really need them in my life.” Listen below.
Tour Dates (w/ Liam Betson):
8/18 Philadelphia, PA @ Golden Tea House w/ Sheer Mag, Spirit of the Beehive
8/19 Montclair, NJ @ Bat Cave w/ Toasted Plastic
8/20 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5 w/ Spacemonster
8/21 Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong w/ Max Levine Ensemble
8/22 Pittsburgh, PA @ The People’s Warehouse w/ WC Lindsay, Steady Hands, Denzell, I am a Sea Creature
8/23 Columbus, OH @ TBA w/ Tin Armor, All Dogs
8/29 Hamden, CT @ The Space w/ Loner Chic, High Pop, Krill
8/30 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium w/ Andrew Cedarmark, Mitski
Hoodwink’d is out 9/23 via Double Double Whammy/Exploding In Sound. You can preorder it here.