Luli and the Innocents – Car Tunes

Sometimes bands don’t need to be playing together for years in order to create great music. Sometimes the stars align and the music Gods bring a group of talented musicians together in order to form a beautiful piece of art. That was the case with Luli and the Innocents. Forming in January 2012, the four individuals released their first studio album, Car Tunes, by July 2012, and won a local radio contest in their home state of Connecticut in April 2012.

Car Tunes is a five track album full of a variety of styles of music that will remind you of artists such as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Garbage, The Civil Wars, or Fiona Apple (just to name a few). Luli and the Innocents keep you guessing what will come next and will have you wanting more. Andrea “Drea” Strunk’s lead vocals are sultry and powerful. She has a way of forcing the listener to feel the words she’s conveying along with the music. Strunk and band members, Travis Salad, Nick Powell, and Brian Quagan are a musical powerhouse who will be continuously playing on your iPod from now on.

Car Tunes starts off with “Little Black Raincloud” which is dark, haunting, and full of heavy rock sounds like guitars full of distortion. Strunk sings of a relationship gone wrong and compares it to stormy weather throughout the entire song. You can hear the fear and pain in her voice as she sings about this “Little Black Raincloud.”

At first listen, you may think you’re hearing the stylings of the duo, The Civil Wars, when you hear “Love in a Fire.” This track has an Americana feel to it with brushes on the drums and an acoustic guitar. Midway through the song, a trumpet appears and then you may get the impression that this sounds like an updated version of a Johnny Cash style of music. Like Cash, you can hear the emotions not only through the vocals, but the music, as well. It seems as though the song is about love gone wrong (again) and it’s time to get out of the relationship. Strunk gets that point across by repeating the lyrics, “I can do much better than you,” over and over for the last two and a half minutes of the song.

On the last track, “Tell You Something,” Strunk channels her inner Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair with a song that will have the boys running for cover. She is clearly calling this guy out on his lies and she is tired of dealing with him. This is bound to be one of those great break up songs you will add to your angry playlist. It has some powerful guitar solos and you’ll be head banging along with the rock beat.

Luli and the Innocents have something great going and their career together has only just begun. This is a band all music lovers can appreciate because they showcase so many different sounds. You will definitely be writing on their Facebook wall asking when they’re releasing new music after listening to Car Tunes. Lead singer, Andrea “Drea” Strunk, took some time to answer questions for IMR about how the band got together and their long list of influences.

How did the four members of the band meet?

Nick, Travis, and Brian all grew up in the same small town of East Granby, CT and were childhood friends. They had played in many bands in their younger years before deciding to form a project together. I met Travis through a mutual friend when I moved to New York City and he introduced me to the rest of the boys. The rest is kinda sorta history. We formed in January 2012.

How did you come up with the name, Luli and the Innocents?

“Luli” was a nickname my brother called me when he was too young to pronounce Andrea and “The Innocents” were a band of outlaw gold thieves from the wild west era. I’m from the west coast and have always been fascinated by that time in history.

Your music showcases a lot of different sounds on each track. What bands or musicians are you influenced by?

Oh my, where to start?! This is in no specific order: our dads, The Beatles, Mark Knopfler, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Etta James, Janis Joplin, Heart, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Fleetwood Mac, Iron Maiden, The Foo Fighters, Leadbelly, Coldplay, The Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, The Black Keys, The Arctic Monkeys, and many more more.

If you could tour with any band or musician, past or present, who would it be and why?

The Grateful Dead because they truly created a lifestyle and culture. They also brought so much happiness to so many people! My second choice would be Justin Beiber (could you imagine the chaos?!).

What can a fan expect when they go to a live Luli and the Innocents show?

A good show with energy, soul, and grit.

What’s your opinion on independent artists giving away free music?

In this day and age, it’s a must. To each his own, of course, but I’m more concerned with sharing our music and getting fans than earning money off of it.

What’s next for Luli and the Innocents?

Recording the full length album we’re working on, going on tour, living our dream, and enjoying the ride!

Rating: 5/5 Stars!

Album: Car Tunes
Release Date: July, 2012
Genre(s): rock, alternative, Americana
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Members: Andrea “Drea” Strunk, Travis Salad, Nick Powell, and Brian Quagan

Melissa Landrin

About Melissa Landrin

I've always wanted to teach and do something in music part time...looks like I'm finally doing it. Music is a passion of mine and I love everything music has to offer. You can always find me either out singing karaoke with friends, or going to small venues around Philly checking out awesome indie musicians (and teaching little ones in my spare time). Twitter: @novaccgirl

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