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Stereo Embers Exclusive Premiere: the crushedvelvets’ “A Hero’s Sin”

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“The content of your character is your choice,” Heraclitus once wrote. “Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.”

Dani Meza, the lead singer and braintrust of Indio’s the crushedvelvets, has quietly become indie rock’s Captain of Cool.

He may not have consciously chosen this distinction, but it’s who he has transformed into. Behind his dark sunglasses, Meza’s manner is unreasonably smooth, his movements disciplined and calm; his music suggests a man who knows how to lean into the pocket and make his home in the groove. His band’s new EP Live In Studio is their fourth and last in a series before their debut album arrives in 2024.

A tranquil blend of Chris Isaak and The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Meza’s songs sway with dark flourishes and adroit percussion.

Taken from the aforementioned live EP, “A Hero’s Sin” is a perfect example of Meza’s rhythmic and dreamy grace. It’s sophisticated and it’s stylish and it rocks gently away with elegance and poise.

It doesn’t hurt that Meza has a crack band that’s comprised of Ben Lumsdaine on Drums (Durand Jones), Danny Frankel on Percussion (Lou Reed, Fiona Apple, She and Him), Heather Sommerhauser on Synth (Junatime), and Max Diaz on Bass (scarypoolparty, W I R E S, Broken Baby).

“This live EP is the closing of a book in order to move on to the next one,” Meza tells SEM.

It’s a hell of a book and it’s hard not to imagine the next volume will make Meza’s brand of cool a secret no more.