Salt Petal’s sophomore release “Sea Monster” is the rare album that imbues the full range of emotions – unbridled joy to aching melancholy – with a full range of sonic influences. The Los Angeles quintet’s musical stew simmers with indie-rock, Brazilian tropicalia, Mexican folk, Cumbia, Argentinian dance and some good ol’ soul – all held together by the husband-and-wife team of guitarist Rodrigo Gonzalez and singer-accordionist Autumn Harrison. Bassist Jesse Herrera and drummer Hiroo Nakano provide the rhythms, and Dayna Richards the inevitable horn that gives Salt Petal’s music a sound that is at once north of the border, south of the border and south of the equator. It’s deliriously good. Made in L.A. with producer Raymond Richards, “Sea Monster” (out Feb. 23) is for dancing fast and slow – “Pico” offers an urgent indie-rock blast; “Por La Luna” is a swirling Latin dervish; “Songs I Used to Love” serves as a tropical punch and “Darkest Hours” oozes beauty with its mournful accordion and trumpet solo. Harrison’s measured vocals at times recall Natalie Merchant, while her significant other delivers some significantly tasty guitar licks. Salt Petal’s DIY release is the kind of album that often gets lost in the incessant clamor of the L.A. scene; here’s one memo saying you should find it.
||| Download: “Pico”
||| Previously: “Songs I Used to Love” and “Por la Luna”
||| Live: Salt Petal celebrates its album release with a show Feb. 23 at the Central SAPC in Santa Monica, joined by Maria del Pilar, the Lonely Wild and Big Tree.