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‘Matter + Spirit’ review: Norah Jones’ band, The Candles, stay sunny

The Candles'

The Candles' "Matter + Spirit" features Norah Jones in a duet with band member Josh Lattanzi. Photo Credit: The End Records

THE CANDLES

“Matter + Spirit”

THE GRADE B+

BOTTOM LINE Americana filtered through a New York state of mind

Though The Candles may be best known as Norah Jones’ touring band, their third album, “Matter + Spirit” (The End), should definitely land them some attention of their own.

Led by singer/multi-instrumentalist Josh Lattanzi, The Candles put their own twist on Americana, most notably in “Back to the City,” where the sound of roots rock bands like The Lumineers gets an edgier vibe. In a way, drummer Greg Wieczorek provides the road map, adding some flourishes to the straightforward thumping that has become the hallmark of the pop-leaning Americana crashing the charts in recent years.

On “Lost My Driving Wheel,” they embellish an alt-country base with bits of Southern rock, while Lattanzi’s sweet voice gives it a bit of pop charm, which also fuels the stripped-down country of “You Won’t Remember Me.”

However, it’s Lattanzi’s duet with Jones, the lovely “Move Along,” that makes the strongest impression. Their pretty harmonies create a bit of sunny hopefulness, even as the lyrics fret about the uncertainty of the future.

With so many musical possibilities explored on “Matter + Spirit,” The Candles’ future is certainly burning bright.

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