Daria and the Hip Drops, Hipnotic (Independent)

The latest from Daria and the Hip Drops adds to their range while still keeping to varied, dancing grooves.

Despite the band only having three pieces, they generate a lot of sound. There is a lot going on in the music, including slinky, 1960s organ in “Tip Toe,” or the echo guitar in “Hole in Heart.”

All this sound never bogs down the songs. They are light and buoyant and marked by leader Daria Dzurik’s steel pans, which add both a rhythmic and melodic flavor that is rare in New Orleans. The music runs the gamut of Caribbean beats including ska, reggae, and a little rock steady.

However, there is a second generation tinge to the songs. There is a great 1980s New Wave aesthetic in this record, like the slightly distorted guitar that English musicians added or the synthesizer sound that New York bands put to this.

Graham Robinson’s guitar, bass, and keyboards lock in to each other and make for a tight ensemble. Both the synthesized and more natural lines are integrated together into a coherent pop sound. Druzik’s vocals are bright and airy. Her singing has a 1960s girl-group tone filtered through a Debbie Harry phrasing.

Occasionally, her vocal style doesn’t match the lyrics. Sometimes she sounds a little removed while describing the sadness of “Felicity” or the sarcasm of “So Hard.”

But the sunny, warm vibes of this record make it perfect for summer, beaches, outdoor parties and other fun activities.