Lucky Strike

Morel's delicious 2002 debut, "Queen of the Highway," a house music/ new wave/ indie rock blend, was ahead of its time. The Washington, D.C.

Morel's delicious 2002 debut, "Queen of the Highway," a house music/ new wave/ indie rock blend, was ahead of its time. The Washington, D.C.-based five piece's sophomore album, "Lucky Strike," continues where its predecessor left off—and given the success of dance-rock acts like Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters and the Killers, the timing could be right. Led by singer/ keyboardist Richard Morel, the group makes dark and melancholic music that fits somewhere between the progressive house sounds of Deep Dish, the electro-pop of the Postal Service and the alternative rock of New Order. Such sonics provide the perfect backdrop for lyrical tales of self-doubt, co-dependency, broken dreams and dashed promises. Songs like "If You Love Me," "Cheerful" and "Waiting on You" are classics in waiting. And the staggeringly beautiful "Tennessee Violet" could be the soundtrack to a JT LeRoy novel.—MP