Side Pony, recorded in the winter of 2015, has an exhilarating feel from start to finish. For listeners familiar with Lake Street Dive, it’s a natural evolution of the band’s sound. The arrangements offer a knowing nod to the past while the lyrics tackle the pitfalls of modern romance in a manner that’s often more playful than rueful. And lead singer Rachael Price’s vocals have a teasing swagger to them. Neither her heart nor her hairstyle will be messed with.
A side pony, for Lake Street Dive, is really a metaphor for their philosophy and personality as a band, one that seamlessly incorporates R&B, pop, ’60s era rock, and soul into a unique, dance party ready mix. As bassist Bridget Kearney puts it, “When we were settling on the album title, that one just stuck out to us as embodying the band’s spirit. We’ve always been this somewhat uncategorizable, weird, outlying genre less band. That’s the statement we wanted to make with this record: be yourself.”
The members of Lake Street Dive—named after an avenue of seedy bars in guitarist and trumpeter Michael “McDuck” Olson’s native Minneapolis—met in 2004 as students at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. Powerhouse singer Price fronts the quartet while Kearney and drummer Michael Calabrese comprise the rhythm section.
Lake Street Dive’s major label debut, Side Pony, will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 19th, 2016.