DOWNLOAD: The Organ Beats, "Dan Gilbert" (mp3)
Noelle LeBlanc has been singing other peoples' songs since she was 12, and while she's blossomed from thrift-store sprite to Lita Ford Joan Jett temptress,frontwomaning Damone into the premiere pop/glam-metal band of their era, she's still shy about showing people her own songs. But last month she snuckout her debut solo album, a home-recorded, hand-pressed collection. Credited to the Organ Beats, but performed on disc entirely by Noelle, it's a set of song sketches ranging from quiet folk implosions to primitive, synth-warped psychedelia. Whispery and weird but utterly engaging, it's a lo-fi indie-pop gem we'd put next to early-'90s faves like Space Needle and Sentridoh. Our fave is "Dan Gilbert," for its fabulist, fever-dream lyricism and a sudden, Yeah Yeah Yeahs-like burst of art-rock anthemicism. "Follow me, I'm on my way/to wonderous spaces," she sings. We will, and she is.
A two-guitar trio version of the Organ Beats, with Noelle's big brother Danny on drums, has been playing out for the past couple months, fleshing out Noelle's songs into raw, loud-ass versions that sound kinda like early Dinosaur Je. They play the Middle East corner tomorrow night: Friday, July 20.
FRIEND: The Organ Beats at MySpaceVIDEO: Noelle smashes a guitar
You can also hear Noelle lending vocals to Stories and Legends, an EP by the Massachusetts prog-metal group Goddess of My Religion. If you ever wondered what she'd sound like if she was signed to Hydrahead . . . well, now you know. (Noelle talks more about the band in this interview.) Funny: while the Organ Beats turn Noelle's acoustic tunes into garage-punk, the GOMR MySpace page has a couple videos of Noelle unplugging their metal tracks into acoustic ballads. Sweet!
None of this, by the way, spells the end of Damone, who've already written a batch of new tunes and are planning to begin recording their third album by the end of the summer. They've also been uploading shitloads of documentary-style video to YouTube, if you've got a spare half-hour.
DOWNLOAD: Damone, "Out Here All Night" (mp3)VIDEO: Damone, "Wasted Years (Iron Maiden cover)"