Paul & Lara – “Action” b/w “Roundagon” 7″

Paul & Lara
"Action" b/w "Roundagon" 7"

Paul and Lara McAdams are brother and sister. Isn’t that cool? I sure couldn’t be in a band with my sister. I think we’d end up killing each other. But, I imagine that close of a relationship would definitely carry over into a band setting. Paul and Lara do have a nice relationship, playing synthesizers, drums, and guitar and both singing. The songs are about relationships and fun things like that. What more can you ask for in a pop band? How about some funky synth lines and a bit of attitude? Well, you’ll get that and more.

I like “Action” quite a bit. As Paul sings, “This girl is like a lead weight tied to my ankle, everything she says and does makes me feel hateful” and a few “baby baby baby”s, you definitely get the feeling that this band grew up on an equal dose of Beach Boys and New Order. It’s all about light drums, synthesizer, and garage-rock sounding guitars, creating a sort of new-wave pop sound that has elements of pure pop and soulful grooving going on. And when both Paul and Lara sing together, “Maybe she’s a star, maybe she’ll go far, maybe she’ll go do do do…” it’s even better. The duo get a little funky, a little rocking, and a little poppy, all in equal amounts.

While “Action” was the duo getting funky, “Roundagon” is the duo getting a little bit more poppy. The vocals here are far sweeter, and there’s even something of a Belle & Sebastian feel to this sweet and slightly lofty sound. I like this song even more than “Action,” primarily because the band sounds more comfortable. The guitar is strong but not overplayed, and the keyboards are the perfect accompaniment. But there is still a little new-wave segment where the band gets a bit more in-your-face. This song is very nice, fun and yet not too overwhelming, even softly pretty.

Not the most original songs I’ve ever heard, but definitely fun pop songs. What I like most about this duo is their ability to effortlessly merge their influences. You get the sweet pop songs of the 70’s and the funky new-wave sounds of the 80’s, all with a comfortably modern pop attitude. That’s enough to make these songs unique, and add the fun, slightly funky attitude, and you get a pretty cool release.