Class Actress

Elizabeth Harper waited a long time for something like Class Actress.

Before becoming the frontwoman for the ineffably cool electro-pop trio, she was a singer-songwriter underwhelmed with her creative role. "It's kind of like when you're young and in college and listening to Elliott Smith," she remembers with a laugh. "I was more concerned about melancholy than about movement." In lieu of her acoustic guitar, Harper was desperate to back a good synthesizer. Her ambitions finally materialized when producer Mark Richardson came along to remix one of her solo songs. And with the addition of Scott Rosenthal, Class Actress began taking shape in early 2009.

The band's debut EP, Journal of Ardency, sounds like something that could have been released in the '80s. Yet it also knows the power of restraint. "I think '80s music was amazing. It was the beginning of synth-pop," Harper says. "From '80 to '90, there was some cool shit going on, until it got all into digital synth and went a bit more Enya." And while her musical interests don't begin and end with the Me Decade, Harper doesn't mind the associations with its music. She's even willing to offer a coy half-joke at her act's expense. "One time someone asked, 'If you were a cover band, what band would you be?' I said, 'Aren't we already a cover band?'"

Wed., July 6, 7:30 p.m., 2011


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