Pop & Hiss

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Fol Chen announces second album; playing show with Liars Saturday

April 9, 2010 |  5:06 pm

When the Highland Park sextet Fol Chen broke out with "Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune's Made," their 2009 debut of meticulous indie pop equal parts creepy and cute, it heralded the arrival of one of Los Angeles' most exciting new bands.

And it seems, much to our benefit, that they may also be workaholics: Fol Chen, with their fondness for masks and winding narratives partially prompted by frontman Samuel Bing's favorite radio station going off the air, is already returning with a second album, "Part II: The New December," on July 6. They'll also open for Liars at the El Rey this Saturday. Some band-mixing will ensue: Bing and bandmate Alex Myrvold will provide back-up instrumentation for the live incarnation of "Sisterworld," the Liars' L.A.-inspired opus of haunted rock.

In a short e-mail chat, Bing described the new album as "nastier. But it also has a few really quiet moments, which the first album didn't have." Though if the first mp3, "In Ruins," is any indication, things are nasty indeed -- check out those ready-to-rumble drums and gravelly, throaty intro -- but still adorably weird. Or, as Bing puts it, "It sounds to me like a broken spaceship crashed into a pop album which then had to be rebuilt by monsters." Doesn't this sound like a good jumping-off point for some industrious video animators? (Crazy-cute videos are somewhat a tradition for the band: "No Wedding Cake," video above, was animated by local artist Nancy Jean Tucker.)

--Margaret Wappler