Little Joy is the new project from Rodrigo Amarante, Binki Shapiro, and everyone’s favorite Stroke, Fab Moretti. From the glorious calypso-garage-folk of the opening track, “The Next Time Around,” the band’s self-titled debut LP is a simple, tastefully executed affair, anchored by perfectly classic melodies and Noah Georgeson‘s warm production. It’s uncanny how much Amarante sounds like Julian Casablancas at times, and the Binki Shapiro-fronted tracks (like the irresistible “Unattainable“) are a wonderful change of pace. Shapiro’s exquisite melodies and elegant vocals maintain a genuine innocence, ultimately resembling something you’d hear on a ’40s AM radio dial. The band recently put a few tracks up on myspace; here’s the remarkably Strokes-esque “Keep Me in Mind.”

Little Joy‘s relative brevity also works in its favor; it breezes by in just about 30 minutes, which would explain why I’ve listened to the thing in its entirety about 12 times in the last couple days. The record feels like an authentic, pretense-free effort from Moretti and crew — no affect, just easy and pleasant, and without question the best of all the emerging Strokes side projects. Nice cover art, too. Little Joy comes out November 4 on Rough Trade, and the band will play a handful of West Coast shows at the end of this month.

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  • 24 Hollers

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