“Shall Noise Upon”
4 out of 5 stars
On the band’s third album, Apollo Sunshine sheds much of its pop sensibilities in favor of layered, psychedelic tracks. But to refer to the album’s sound as merely psychedelic would simplify what the band has done.
Apollo Sunshine uses this neo-psychedelia as an umbrella, housing a variety of genres (from hard rock to funk to Caribbean) underneath one style. The impressive part of “Shall Noise Upon” is that it functions as one album, despite the contrast from track to track.
Beneath their experimental nature and shifting shape, the songs are still accessible and catchy. The Kinks-esque “Money” is so likable it feels like an old favorite halfway through the first listen. Too often in today’s music culture, we find post-rock bands placing a large emphasis on atmosphere and sonic texture so they lose sight of the songs. “Shall Noise Upon” finds a balance, making it one of the most interesting and memorable albums of the year so far.
Key Tracks: “666: The Coming of the New World Government,” “Money” and “The Mermaid Angeline”
“Ode to Sunshine”
3.5 out of 5 stars
The opening keystrokes of “Trashcan,” the first song on Delta Spirit’s debut record, tell you exactly what you’re in for: uplifting, piano-tinged indie rock that owes a bit to Spoon, but not nearly enough to call them imitators.
Though they fit in neatly with the indie rock scene that fawns over Vampire Weekend, their sound is undeniably rooted in soul and, to a lesser degree, classic rock. Traditional rock becomes defamiliarized on the album, particularly when the guitars take the backseat to Kelly Winrich’s saloon-style piano in the composition and layering of the songs.
The simplistic, unpretentious percussion of drummer Brandon Young is a frequent highlight of the album, producing a soulful tone that complements singer Matthew Vasquez’s vocals.
Capping off the album’s nostalgic feel is the relaxed pace of the words and music, suggesting simpler times, although when Vasquez refrains, “All you soul-searchin’ people, c’mon!” on track three, you’re struck with urgency that is hard to ignore. “Ode to Sunshine” is a fitting title indeed.
Key Tracks: “People C’mon” and “Trashcan”