by Frances Brennan
Katherine Kelly Larson and Morgan Soltes worked together in Sarsota Indie band, Sons of Hippies. They had been writing some new music together on the side when SOH fell apart with a full tour already booked. Pleasures was born, picking up band members Roger Lanfranchi and Riley Morgan on the way.
They put out an EP, Rub in 2015 and a full album, Fucked Up Dreams Come True in 2016, then followed with Body Pop in 2018. On Dec 15, Pleasures announced on their Facebook page that they are working on a new album.
They are known for frequent and ambitious bouts of nationwide touring since their start, even performing on multiple occassions as far away as Los Angeles. Larson has described touring as an interview for new gang members, a search to find everyone out there who gets it, trying to lure in the ones who identify with her songs like the proverbial traveling circus you want to run away with.
At the release of Body Pop she spoke about never wanting Pleasures to be something people just watched from a distance. "Like something so other you couldn't get close to it," she told Creative Loafing last year, saying an attempt to be more vulnerable has informed her writing since she realized that people identify more with real personal experience than themes.
She commented on the band's evolving portrayal of love and romance throughout their earlier album Fucked Up Dreams and "Pressure" on 2018's Body Pop, saying that "Pressure" was about "all the fantastic, but awful things that happen when you are in love," while the theme of Dreams was more playful.
Pleasures wrote Body Pop collaboratively. Larson credited Soltes with a key role in creating it, whether with a set of chords to start a song or a drum loop, she has said the group's process typically kicks off with an idea from him. The band recorded the structure for the tracks, then added the layers and textures after.
Their sound, live or recorded, is a lush, multi-layered mesh, a hypnotically gorgeous faceted danceable barrage, a sonic fabric with a thick pattern of sharp sound devices, cascading synth and groovy bass under lyrics that the singer has joked revolve around futility, self-doubt and death, sung completely through a vocoder. Their stage show is like a dark-wave multi sensory psychedelic rainbow of color, light and video. You should go see them live any time you have the chance.
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