Listening to Levator feels really good. The artfully constructed and pleasant strains of pop rock feel like trying on soft, multicolored layers of your favorite T-shirts.
This is a band to study to, a band to read to and a band to live to. In other words, Levator and its 2006 album “Jackson Hwy. Barnes Drive” are simultaneously soothing and upbeat.
Perhaps the best way to describe Levator is as the band most likely to land on a future “Grey’s Anatomy” soundtrack.
“Jackson Hwy. Barnes Drive” is a 12-track, hour-long album filled with the breathy and mature vocals of Sky Lynn on guitar backed by the presence of Rando Skrasek on drums.
Absent from the record are building rockers; instead, the artsy and soulful piece is mellow.
The album starts off with “Another Day,” a song that sounds as though it is a cousin of “Downtown” by Tegan and Sara, the Canadian singer-songwriter duo.
Next up is “Try…Wait,” an eight-minute song that speeds way up before it slows down.
“As Yours Would” is a cool psychedelic experience, and “Fingers & Toes” is a definite highlight.
Lynn sings about “wishing time away” in “Perfect World” to close the album.
Overall, “Jackson Hwy. Barnes Drive” is melodic and dreamy with a definite indie feel.
Levator began as Lynn’s solo project when she played her first show in Seattle on March 17, 2003.
The name “Levator” comes from a surgical instrument used to lift the depressed fragments of a fractured skull.
In 2004, Lynn released her self-produced and self-recorded album “Midnight.”
Her first album consisted of 12 varied songs, including the popular rocker “Disease” and the piano pop of “White Hair,” in which Lynn sang about her visible dark side.
“Midnight” was recorded in her home studio, where she sang and played every instrument including the organ, drums, clarinet and guitar.
She played multiple shows and tours in 2005 in a flexible fashion, accompanied by various musician friends who played with her on moog, baritone guitar, trumpet, bass and drums.
Levator gained another member in 2006 when Skrasek joined. Lynn and Skrasek toured to promote “Jackson Hwy. Barnes Drive.”
The band became a four-piece in 2007 with the additions of Jeremy Mitchell on bass and keyboard, and Nate Henry on tenor sax and keyboard.
Fans have compared Levator to Galaxie 500 and Mazzy Star. The band is also recommended to lovers of Sonic Youth, Elliott Smith, Neil Young and The Cure.
Levator recently completed a month-long West Coast tour through Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California.