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Ear to the Ground: Light Fantastic

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Light Fantastic-feat

There are times when San Francisco jangle-rock band Light Fantastic sounds like they could be hatchlings of the Byrds: Their eponymous debut EP’s first track, “Falling Through,” shimmers with 12-string Rickenbackers drenched in reverb as frontman Terry Sowers coos aloof vocal harmonies and drummer Scott Goldberg flirts with marching-band rhythms reminiscent of Michal Clark’s sublime work on Notorious Byrd Brothers.

There’s also a prevalent surfy element here. By the time the chorus of “Make It Up” cascades into watery minor chords, you can easily imagine keyboardist Rachel Hoiem playing her piano in a sandbox, a la Brian Wilson. It makes perfect sense that in their short existence, Light Fantastic has already shared the stage with similarly jangly bands like the Flamin’ Groovies, Beachwood Sparks, Allah-Las, and the Tyde.

But ’60s vibes aren’t all there is to Light Fantastic. The perfectly crystalline guitar chime and period-correct production in closing song “All Come to Meet Her” play like an homage to L.A.’s mid-’80s Paisley Underground movement. There are changes here that sound so in-tune with bands like Rain Parade and the Three O’Clock, it sometimes begs the question: Was there a government program that gave out free chorus pedals to guitarists in the ’80s? lightfantasticband.com

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