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Best Local Album of the Past Year

For four years, this South Florida outfit leaked home-brewed mini-albums to local radio, press, friends, and family; performed infrequently in public; and fought, broke up, lost members, and finally regrouped. When the choicest of their orchestrated electro-tropicalia songs were collected in one place -- Hard Times for Dreamers, released last spring on New York-based March Records -- the entire indie-pop world finally heard what we'd been raving about for so long. Fawning reviews followed. The album got played on the BBC. The band's femme faux-Francophilia creates a Möebius strip in which the 1960s meet the 1990s and beyond, inviting comparisons to everything from Stereolab to Brian Wilson to modern-day bossa nova. Adorable singer/guitarist Rocky Ordoñez and her multi-instrumentalist cohorts have (typically) laid low since Dreamers hit the bins, but at least we have one band that sounds just the way sun-drenched South Florida feels while handily throwing off the amateur trappings of a "local act."


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