Le Loup started off as the home-recording project of DC-based musician Sam Simkoff, but to hear the band perform live you'd never think it had been anything less than the five-man collective it is today. Onstage, Simkoff is definitely the leader of the pack–whether howling into a mic or prowling among his bandmates like a conductor gone feral–but Le Loup's seething, richly orchestral sound seems intrinsically tied to the players themselves. It's the sort of band that plays facing not the audience but each other, so that each song is distinctly a team effort, built on visual cues and an infectious shared energy. (Think James Baldwin's story "Sonny's Blues" set to hypnotically layered indie music.)
Appropriate, then, that the band's latest album, out September 22 on Sub-Pop label Hardly Art, is titled Family. Sunday's sold-out set at Mercury Lounge saw a host of songs from the new album, including the mesmeric "Beach Town" and "Go East," as well as a smattering of older tracks. They head to Boston next.