Ugly Orange showcases Detroit's Hala, L.A.'s Boyo and local songbird Lexi Long

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Hala at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hala at Will's Pub
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Hala, Boyo and Lexi Long, Will’s Pub, July 2

From their recent clip of shows, it seems that pacesetting local promotions group Ugly Orange are back up to full speed.
Hala at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hala at Will's Pub
Their latest production brought the Orlando debut of Hala, the music moniker of 21-year-old Detroit babyface Ian Ruhala. With a quartet to fully stroke the songs of his bedroom recording project, his lo-fi guitar pop beamed with a step and breath that’s pure and bright.
At its best, like on new single “Sorry,” Hala’s music is a joyful romp of melody, economy and rock & roll that can score perfection. And onstage, he showed glimpses of some guitar slinging that he’s been keeping in his back pocket.
Hala at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hala at Will's Pub
Hala at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hala at Will's Pub
Sharing the marquee was Boyo, the vehicle for L.A. musician Robert Tilden whose new single (“Take Me Away”) features Dent May.
Boyo at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Boyo at Will's Pub
With just a trio and a notable prowess with sonics, he and his band came on warm and full, rendering indie pop on a dream wave with occasional zephyrs of soul blowing through. The result was lushly intimate and very accomplished.
Boyo at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Boyo at Will's Pub
Boyo at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Boyo at Will's Pub
Boyo at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Boyo at Will's Pub
Boyo at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Boyo at Will's Pub
Opening the night was Lexi Long, a solo Orlando indie artist who’s currently featured as our Band of the Week.
Lexi Long at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Lexi Long at Will's Pub
Though they have their own tonal individualities, she occupies a similar frequency as local exemplar Zoya Zafar. Long, however, sings with a lighter air and expresses in a more overtly folk language. Although not a finished product, this indie bird has a lovely sound with lots of natural promise.
Lexi Long at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Lexi Long at Will's Pub
Like most singer-songwriters, she played the usual acoustic guitar. But things took a quantum leap when she eventually picked up the autoharp.
Lexi Long at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Lexi Long at Will's Pub
It didn’t occur until the end of her set and lasted for only two songs, but that accompaniment distinguishes her sound into a thing of true enchantment. If her autoharp playing was a cornerstone of her performance rather than just a footnote, she’d be onto something immediately special.
Lexi Long at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Lexi Long at Will's Pub
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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