The Strokes have been on hiatus since 2006, but if the band members keep making great records on the side, the New York quintet needn't hurry back to the studio. Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.'s first two albums were little slices of California power-pop, and now drummer Fabrizio Moretti follows suit as part of the trio Little Joy. By teaming with vocalists and multi-instrumentalists Rodrigo Amarante (of indie rockers Los Hermanos) and Binki Shapiro, Moretti has helped craft dreamy, weightless pop music, inspired equally by Amarante's Brazilian heritage and Moretti's knowledge of simple rock & roll dynamics. The band's self-titled debut was released at the beginning of November, which feels either six months too late or six months too early: This is a summer record, made for breezy back porches and mint-infused cocktails. No matter — we could use a little audible sunshine as the cold St. Louis winter encroaches.
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