Local Wire

Coats & Villa

Wayne Coats and Nicholas Villa are Phoenix-based musical confederates whose surnames happen to sound really classy together — suggesting, perhaps, a high-end home furnishings boutique or a Jean Renoir flick. As it turns out, they make damn handsome music, too. The pair, which once formed half of the Mesa-based folk foursome The Morning Kennedy Was Shot, released their debut album, Make a Record, last April, moving away from the fuzzy psychedelic shapes of their earlier work toward a more structured and tuneful sound. On lead track "Runaway," frontman Villa oversees a delightful arranged-marriage of Southwestern jangle and emo Weltschmerz. On the standout stomper "Stars and the Moon," Coats drum-kicks like he's making a Chuck Wagon Dog Food jingle before forging into more expansive (but infectiously lighthearted) grooves. It's all deceptively smooth and polished-sounding — for lack of a better term, easy-listening-psych-pop. The band has played Phoenix-area dates steadily since forming two years ago, but this will be their first Christmas show. Perfect for the music fan who has everything.
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Craig Outhier