Nothing spikes my curiosity about a local band more than the “r” word — so when Lovie set up a four-week Sunday night “residency” at White Rock Coffee Shop this month, I couldn’t help but wander over.
Lovie is a four-woman band that has generated a low-level buzz on the Dallas alternative scene with their debut CD, “Harshmellow,” and hard-rocking gigs at Club Dada and the Cavern. A developing act can hide a lot behind high volume and bright lights so stripping back to an acoustic setting — and even test-driving new material in it — is a brave risk.
But it paid off: Last Sunday, it took halfway through the first set before our ears adjusted to the acoustics and the band locked into a compelling groove. A Farfisa-like organ gives some songs a perky, late-’70s new-wave vibe, but guitarist Rebecca Dixon’s longing voice anchors their sound with a moody, introspective presence that helps Lovie come across as charming but not overly precious.
At their best — heightened when all four members sing (which didn’t happen as often as it should have) — they fall somewhere between the paisley pop of the early Bangles and the fragile angst of Juliana Hatfield. They get extra points for dusting off “All the Pretty Girls,” a short-and-not-so-sweet kiss-off recorded in 1979 by Pearland, Texas punk act The Judy’s.