Kind Hearts and Coronets

{mosimage}WHO THEY GOT: Former Chicagoan and Chamber Strings member Asa Ferry has his hands full as singer-songwriter-guitarist of the very large band he moved here to form. Says the earnest Ferry of his recruitment strategy, “I wanted good, sweet souls in the band — kind people. The band is about the people in the band.” Those souls include drummer Justin Polimeni (of the re-formed Love); David Alvarado (Beck) on bass; Randy Billings and Eric Potter on guitars; Glenn Gregory on piano/keys, Dan Collins hitting even more keys — Farfisa style — and lending vocal harmonies; and Merideth Kleinman’s magical trumpet.

WHEN EIGHT ISN’T QUITE ENOUGH: Kind Hearts seek female vocal harmonies attached to a skilled cellist. (Gentle spirit preferred.)

SOUNDS LIKE... : A modern-day psychedelic cabaret show — pretty melodies, enthusiastic harmonic choruses and a fantastic horn, blended to orchestral pop perfection. Their new, self-released album — selling briskly through Amoeba Music’s Homegrown series — gallivants through all 93 of their MySpace-professed influences (e.g., Nick Drake, Zombies, the Dears). “Ghosts and Unicorns” promotes self-loving optimism, even in the face of everyday perils such as rogues and creeps. “You know you’re not the only heart to rip itself in two/you can sacrifice your own device/just be yourself and do what you do what you do.” “Victoria Euphoria” etherealizes bohemia, while “This Boy’s Not Quite Right” starts out channeling the Soft Boys and ends up in a Haight-Ashbury tizzy. The overall effect? The most irresistible urge to lighten up already.

THE AWWWW FACTOR: Kind Hearts played for Echo Park’s “Hope for Homeless” this past February. A 200-plus crowd of assistance-program participants seemed aloof during the set, but stuck around to thank the band anyway. Ferry sums it up: “Who knows what impact that [show] really had, but it made me feel good.”

PET PEEVE: Licensing is one thing, but Ferry draws the line at the Outback Steakhouse commercial featuring an Of Montreal song with reworked lyrics. (“Let’s pretend we don’t exist” became “Let’s go Outback tonight!”) “It’s like taking the Mona Lisa and saying, ‘You know what... my girlfriend wants it green. And can you throw a Starbucks logo in her hair?’ ”

SUMMER PLANS: Seeing the U.S. and Europe through dirty tour-van windows.

’TIL THEN: April 12 at the Knitting Factory with the Parson Redheads.

Click here to visit the band's MySpace page and listen to four songs

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