Vintage vibrations from Levitation Room

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Levitation Room has two albums out, “Ethos and Headspace.” (Photos courtesy of Levitation Room)

L.A. rockers Levitation Room vibrate with the vintage voodoo you’d expect from a garage band. But there’s more that comes at you through the tweed. 

There’s jazz in there to serve as a catalyst between the dashes of eclectic pop and folk. This is the foundation of the band’s appeal.

Levitation Room has two albums out, “Ethos” and “Headspace,” which both twist in sonic textures and gestures. They don’t play a one-trick game.

Maybe it’s just me but it seems like garage players consistently get know-it-alls wagging fingers in their faces demanding strident accuracy and at the same time defining it as they see fit, something groundbreaking. 

Levitation singer Julian Porte doesn’t sweat it. And he doesn’t disagree with the garage tag. We chatted about it on the phone as he sat in the parking lot that is L.A. traffic.

“We are influenced by those genres of music,” Porte says. “It’s apparently in our music. But I can’t imagine us as just that. I don’t know that we can be confined to just one space.”

Who could? 

Levitation Room came together in 2012 after Porte’s run with punk rock via The Hits.

Post-Hits, he used the want ads. Gabriel Hernandez—who had also played with him in The Hits, incidentally—saw Porte’s query and responded.

“This was just a project where we could have fun,” Porte says. “Play some warehouse shows, house parties, meet people, play some music and have a good time. People started coming up to us, ‘Hey, you should record some songs.”’

Their love of the idiom, particularly the psychedelic side of things, started to gel and by 2013 they arrived to fans with the band’s self-released demo—a fuzzy, lo-fi sendup that has Levitation Room emitting period perfect, dare I say, world beat appeal. 

Their latest offering, “Headspace,” was released in 2019 and “Ethos” between the release of the two laments of soul and R&B on the menu. It hits with a new vintage-like strain.

“We love everything,” Porte says. “It’s kind of a culmination of a lot of different genres. But we’re definitely rooted in old music. We have 2 LPs, and several singles including our first single recorded in Spanish, ‘Plenso En Ti.’ If you’re wondering por qué, en español? Levitation Room’s members are all of Spanish descent. And we’ve always had a love of Latin music.”

He adds: “So that one is a homage to our culture. It’s part of our natural sound. No matter how we try to sound like someone else we’re always gonna sound like ourselves.”

You can catch Levitation Room on their first East Coast tour at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave., tonight, with guests, Evolfo and Drippers, at 8 p.m. $16 tickets, bugjar.com 

Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer.

Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On

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