The day before her sold-out show at Frankfurt, Germany’s 2500-capacity Alte Oper on May 25th, Norah Jones still needed a warm-up act. She offered the slot to her bassist Josh Lattanzi, the frontman of New York rock group The Candles, who she knew was looking to test out some new songs live.
Lattanzi’s first album cut with a fully formed live unit: guitarists Matt Pynn and Jason Roberts, keyboardist Pete Remm and drummer Greg Wieczorek (the latter three also play in Jones’ touring band). Lattanzi spent a decade playing bass with bands including the Lemonheads, Ben Kweller and Albert Hammond Jr. before releasing the Candles 2010 LP Between the Sounds, which proved he was underutilized as a sideman.
While Lattanzi labored over Between the Sounds obsessively in his apartment, he took a different approach with La Candelaria (titled after a historic neighborhood in Bogota, Colombia that he visited on tour). “I wanted it to sound as live as possible,” he says. He recorded in five different studios between New York and Massachusetts with the band, with several tracks produced by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Phish) and Mike Denneen (Aimee Mann). The band attacked Lattanzi’s air-tight hooks with razor-sharp execution; listen carefully to Roberts’ other-worldly psych-prog escapade in “What Happens Next,” Pynn’s twangy steel-guitar bite in “Blind Light,” Remm’s haunting organ flourishes in “One Way Ticket” and Wieczorek’s tight minimalist grooves throughout. They didn’t need much practice: “One Way Ticket” was recorded the same day Lattanzi introduced it to the band.