Lake Street Dive formed a decade ago, taking its name from a local dive bar in Boston. But this isn’t your typical bar band. For starters, the members met at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, translating their studies into a sound that blends jazz, R&B, blues, and pop. The group is handy with all sorts of styles: their annual Halloween shows feature covers of ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, and Hall & Oates, and they first made their name with a stunning version of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”
YouTube hits aside, Lake Street Dive has caught even more attention over the past few months. T-Bone Burnett invited them to perform at a star-studded New York event promoting the Coen brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis, and the band recently got the “Colbert bump” with a memorable performance on The Colbert Report. This week sees the release of the band’s new album, Bad Self Portraits, and right from the start, it’s obvious that singer Rachel Price is the star. Her powerful voice–reminiscent of Amy Winehouse and other neo-soul balladeers–gives Lake Street Dive’s music a feeling of an older era. Both in her tone and styling, she adds polish and gravel to the sound. The record kicks off with the title track, a self-deprecating look at the singer’s own recovery after heartbreak.