Brooklyn's Ava Luna has been releasing material, as far as I can tell, since about 2009. However, this Ice Level album is the first time I'm hearing of them. I couldn't ask for a better introduction, too.
There are points where the recording feels a little rough--especially with some slightly overmodulated vocals--but the group still comes through a sound that's equal parts baroque pop, smooth soul, and experimental pop. The group has definitely hit upon it's very own blend of sounds. There's a nice dynamic of male and female vocal harmonies throughout many of the tracks, and the female vocals "chirp" occasionally with a touch of Dirty Projectors inspiration.
To create some tension, the soulful vocals and sweet strings are matched with some noisy instrumentation. The drums have quite a bit of punch to them and the bass really gives some of these grooves force. Meanwhile, the synths and guitar seek to create a real ruckus. Just listen to the opening track and you'll hear what I mean.
Ice Level is out now, and you can grab a copy on Ava Luna's Bandcamp.