Their latest production brought the Orlando debut of Hala, the music moniker of 21-year-old Detroit babyface Ian Ruhala. With a quartet to fully stroke the songs of his bedroom recording project, his lo-fi guitar pop beamed with a step and breath that’s pure and bright.
At its best, like on new single “Sorry,” Hala’s music is a joyful romp of melody, economy and rock & roll that can score perfection. And onstage, he showed glimpses of some guitar slinging that he’s been keeping in his back pocket.
With just a trio and a notable prowess with sonics, he and his band came on warm and full, rendering indie pop on a dream wave with occasional zephyrs of soul blowing through. The result was lushly intimate and very accomplished.
Though they have their own tonal individualities, she occupies a similar frequency as local exemplar Zoya Zafar. Long, however, sings with a lighter air and expresses in a more overtly folk language. Although not a finished product, this indie bird has a lovely sound with lots of natural promise.
It didn’t occur until the end of her set and lasted for only two songs, but that accompaniment distinguishes her sound into a thing of true enchantment. If her autoharp playing was a cornerstone of her performance rather than just a footnote, she’d be onto something immediately special.