Led by Kristie Di Lascio, DC trio Loi Loi served up a strong synthpop brew opening Yacht at Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday. (Read our Parklife DC review of Yacht!)
Kristie appeared to pull influences from all over the world into a seamless mix of powerful dance music in her band’s 10-song set. Ever cosmopolitan, Kristie occasionally sang in Spanish, and several of those songs carried the tempo of global dance hits paired with her occasionally bluesy voice.
Two of the opening songs told the tale of the band’s sound. Hailing from Viva La Vulva, a debut EP released last September via Blight Records, “Responsabilidades” vaulted from the stage and into our ears with the blare of a disco siren and cautionary vocals. “You May Be,” the very next song, represented a sonic shift into something that recalled the mature melancholy of Laura Branigan.
On the same day of Friday’s show, Blight Records released a video for “You May Be.” Watch the official music video for “You May Be” by Loi Loi on YouTube:
In interviews, Kristie says she’s inspired by cold wave and industrial noises, but honestly the music often played out as dance-friendly italo disco with notes of Hi-NRG.
Before I saw Loi Loi, I did not realize that Kristie was sibling to Johnny Fantastic, the prolific firestarter of Blight Records currently focusing his efforts on synthpop duo Stronger Sex. Whereas Stronger Sex takes a page from the likes of Soft Cell, Sparks, and even Devo, Loi Loi finds common ground with Ms. Branigan or The Human League with an occasional dash of Cyndi Lauper’s pitched enthusiasm. Standout number “1985” could’ve sat neatly next to “The Lebanon” and “Louise” on THL’s Hysteria, and later Loi Loi performed an earnestly upbeat and bright cover of “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode.
Colorful ‘80s dreams surely run strong in this family. Johnny helped record Viva La Vulva, but the band now consists of Kristie (synths), Pedram (guitars), and Tyler (bass). Listen to Viva La Vulva by Loi Loi on Bandcamp:
Loi Loi’s setlist from the Jan. 19 show at Rock and Roll Hotel:
You May Be
Trying to Remember
Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode
Kaligula (instrumental; no words yet)
Loi Loi will perform next at DC9 on Wednesday, Feb. 28, when they open for Jenny and the Mexicats. Buy your ticket online. (They are selling fast!) Catch their next show for a dose of passionate synthpop with affectionately uplifting and worldly ambiance.
You can bet that we will hear a lot more from Loi Loi very soon as the band has plans for a full-length album on Blight Records, slated for a summer release. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of Loi Loi performing at Rock and Roll Hotel on Jan. 19, 2018.