Los Angeles’ Fool’s Gold melds Hebrew and English lyrics with Malian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Congolese, and indie-rock stylings, but amazingly, it never sounds contrived. Luke Top, an Israeli-born bassist and vocalist, and Lewis Pesacov, a producer and classically trained guitarist, met at summer camp when they were 10 years old, and put the group together in 2006 as a vehicle for their internationalist take on the wide spectrum of popcraft they love. They enlisted members of Pesacov’s rock band, added musicians from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, and released Fool’s Gold’s debut in 2009. Whereas Vampire Weekend fits African accents into a pop-rock sound and Extra Golden’s Kenyan and American members go for a Kenyan-only product, Fool’s Gold has songs that sound Malian, others that resemble Congolese soukous, and so on. Skilled enough to make these hybrids work, the ensemble employs galloping percussion, bouncy brass, high-pitched rumba, and lower-toned desert-blues axework, and ties it together with catchy vocals that range from harmonized to melismatic to strikingly guttural.
FOOL’S GOLD PERFORMS WITH (THE) TONY CASTLES AND LOOSE LIPS AT DC9, 1940 9TH ST. NW. $10-$12. (202) 483-5000.