Le Loup is making some of the year's most original and mesmerizing music. The Washington, D.C. band uses plucked banjo, programmed beats, and triumphant harmonies to produce complex and enthralling experimental pop. While the seven-piece group has a full, multifaceted sound, it's all built around a brilliantly crafted melodic core.
The lengthy title to their album, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly, is inspired by both Dante's Inferno and a 1950s art piece by James Hampton. Several members of the band contribute vocals. Tracks like "Outside This Car, The End of the World!" and "To the Stars! To the Night!" contain several rich harmony parts that interweave, joining and separating on different lines. "We are Gods! We Are Wolves!" offers playful pop filled with hand claps, flickering sequencers, and synthesizers. The band also includes bits of noise collages and ambient breaks on "(Howl)" or "(Storm)".
Le Loup was assembled when banjo player and keyboardist Sam Sinkoff posted some of his laptop recordings on the internet. The band members came together on Craigslist, and Jonathan Poneman (founder of Sub Pop Records) picked up their album for his new label, Hardly Art.