A scrappy but fun live band that can cater to the punky Memory Lanes Block Party crowd as capably as the buttoned-up jazz-pop fans who saw them open for Lake Street Dive at First Avenue in August, co-ed soul-rock sextet Southside Desire lives up to its onstage reputation on record for the first time with its self-titled sophomore full-length album, which it’s promoting tonight at 7th Street Entry.
This one’s a charmer from the get-go, as the opening track “Four Broken Souls” (posted below) comes on weary yet headstrong like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” set to a ‘70s disco beat. The poppier, doo-wop-flavored “Double Dutch” and more dramatic, soul tune “Recognize” follow, as strong as any trifecta of tunes I’ve heard kick off any other local album this year. Other highlights include the anthemic “Make or Break” and the grimier groover “The Ledge,” for which the band made a quirky little video.
Throughout, lead singer and principle songwriter Marvel Devitt shows a broad range as a girl-group-style harmony leader and a stand-out soul belter but also plays it cool, never sounding like she’s overreaching or showing off. Her husband, bassist Trevor Engelbrektson, is more of a showboat along with drummer Damien Tank – in a good way, as they throwing in some fun time-changes and keep the rhythms sounding anything but mechanical. You can stream the whole album here.
“Southside Desire” arrives via the band’s in-house label, Piñata Records, which has also issued albums by Black Diet and Narco States. Tonight’s Entry show will feature Red Daughters and Southside D’s fellow Palmer’s regulars Mary Allen & the Percolators (9 p.m., $5-$7).