Ava Luna – “Steve Polyester” Video (Stereogum Premiere)

Ava Luna’s third full-length, Infinite House, is exciting because it’s inconsistent. Their sound is always challenging and expertly tailored, but this time around, it’s so varied that it’s hard to make comparisons or dump the record into any preexisting, contemporary categories. Nothing about this record is predictable, nor is it conventional, and giving extra breathing room to the weird has served the band exceedingly well. I’ve said in the past that Ava Luna is a kind of supergroup, a collection of artists who are well known outside of their work with the band, and in no way is that more obvious than when we admire the first three singles — “Billz,” “Coat Of Shellac,” and “Steve Polyester” — each of which was written by and fronted by a different member. “Steve Polyester” is Becca Kauffman’s absurdist spoken-word offering. It’s a wayward, spiraling tale about an amorphous being who the narrator pursues throughout a “not-so-popular part of town.” It’s initially goofy sounding, particularly when Kauffman’s narration descends into baritone at the mention of “anthill,” or when a crisp, nasally voice chimes in, “He’s like a ruby lined in gold!” But with time, Steve Polyester evolves into something much more than just a figure shaped like a cockroach. He (it?) becomes a document of unspecified desire, a pursuit of all of the things that we look for in other people rather than in ourselves. This is a song about longing for something undefined, which makes “Steve Polyester” a universal, albeit unorthodox, song. Angela Stempel’s whimsical animation brings some of Kauffman’s story to life, the narration’s many intricacies exposed by nuanced illustrations and angular line-work. Watch below, and check out Ava Luna’s tour dates.

04/24 Stony Brook, NY @ SUNY
04/25 Boston, MA @ O’Briens
04/26 New Paltz, NY @ SUNY New Paltz
04/28 Philadelphia, PA @ The Pharmacy
04/29 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
04/30 Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
05/01 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
05/02 Raleigh, NC @ Kings
05/03 Columbia, SC @ Brookland Tavern
05/04 Charleston, SC @ Royal American
05/05 Atlanta, GA @ 529
05/06 Savannah, GA @ Hangfire
05/07 Tallahassee, FL @ All Saints
05/08 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
05/09 Houston, TX @ Walter’s
05/11 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
05/13 Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Art Scene
05/14 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
05/16 Los Angeles, CA @ Pehrspace
05/17 Santa Barbara, CA @ Funzone
05/20 San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar
05/21 Oakland, CA @ Leo’s
05/22 Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
05/23 Seattle, WA @ Cairo
05/24 Olympia, WA @ Obsidian
05/26 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
05/28 Denver, CO @ Leon Gallery
05/30 Chicago, IL @ Observatory
05/31 Detroit, MI @ New Dodge
06/01 Milwaukee, WI @ Cocoon Room
06/02 Indianapolis, IN @ Joyful Noise
06/03 Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
06/04 Cincinnati, OH @ The Woodward

Infinite House is out now via Western Vinyl.