“Dead radio if all we know is all we know,” Jennifer Charles warns solemnly against Oren Bloedow’s momentous guitar arpeggios, which toll like doom-laden bells, on “Karen 25,” from Elysian Fields’ latest album, Pink Air. The Brooklyn duo invent their own form of radio on the new record, which ranges from delicate pop (“Philistine Jackknife”) and candied balladry (“Start in Light”) to heavier passages driven by Bloedow’s barely restrained, darkly lurking guitar chords (“Tidal Wave,” “Storm Cellar”). The six-minute “Knights of the White Carnation” is a slow and sludgy ascent up a hard-rock mountain in which Bloedow’s grungy guitar is contrasted by Charles’ coolly serene vocal proclamations. “Lords and queens of the castle walls/Heirs of the great plantations/Hands that whipped black skin/Hold the keys of the private prisons,” she rails dourly.
The Moroccan Lounge, 901 E. First St., downtown L.A.; Fri., May 17, 7 p.m.; $18. www.themoroccan.com.
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