“Like a Stranger,” track one off L.A. band Kitten’s 2013 release of the same name, is romantic ’80s dance-pop to the max — all smoke machines, teased bangs and the distinctive electric-boogaloo beat of the era; think Madonna’s “Lucky Star” meets Pet Shop Boys remixed by early hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash.
Next up on the record is “Yesterday,” which recalls Aimee Mann’s work with ’Til Tuesday and the new wave classic “Walking in L.A.” by Missing Persons. Kitten has a strong connection to the City of Angels. “We all met in L.A,” Kitten vocalist Chloe Chaidez tells EW via email, “where we grew up.”
Elsewhere on the record, “I’ll Be Your Girl” and “Doubt” are New Order meets Paula Abdul, but Chaidez downplays the pop side of Kitten’s sound. “Kitten is essentially a rock band with some strong electronic elements,” she explains, conceding, “It’s a bit new wave as well.”
“When I discovered ’80s pop, I fell in love with the melodies and drum sounds,” she continues. “The overall character and power of front men and women from that time fascinates me. Discovering this was my own kind of musical rebellion.”
Kitten plays with Bear Hands and The Ecstatics 9 pm Saturday, April 5, at WOW Hall; $10 adv., $12 door.