Delta Spirit | Delta Spirit

Rounder (2012)
By ANNIE ZALESKI  |  March 13, 2012

Delta Spirit

Last year, Delta Spirit performed at Newport Folk Fest and opened for My Morning Jacket and John Fogerty. The pairings were appropriate, given that the Long Beach-via-San Diego quintet's first two albums were largely rustic, folk-tinged affairs. They approach their music with a broader palette on their third, homonymous album — and the results are spectacular. Exuberant indie-pop signifiers referencing the Beach Boys, Arcade Fire, Spoon, and MMJ dominate — from the nostalgic harmonies waterfalling through "California" and the surf-riff fuzz coating "Idaho," to the drumstick-chop rhythms and coiled psych-rock of "Otherside" and new-wave-power-pop buzz of "Money Saves." Delta Spirit's more atmospheric tracks are just as mesmerizing: on "Time Bomb," pattering percussion marches between measured piano plinks and sustained keyboard chords— creating a majestic pastiche of dreamy '80s synth-rock — while vocalist Matthew Vasquez croons with the classical aplomb of Rufus Wainwright on the lush, soaring "Into The Darkness." The characters in Delta Spirit's songs— wistful daydreamers, hopeless romantics, and clear-eyed pragmatists alike— are as rich and complex as the music. The protagonist of "California" implores a former flame, "I want you to move to California for yourself/I want you to find whatever your heart needs" as a magnanimous way of justifying the heartbreak (and implied break-up) caused by this move. A lovely, thoughtful album.

DELTA SPIRIT + THE WATERS | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | March 27 @ 7 pm | 18+ | $18 | 617.562.8800 or

Related: From Sun Volt to Guthrie with Jay Farrar, Review: Julian Casablancas at the Paradise, Bass Box | Mother Box, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Paradise Rock Club, Rufus Wainwright, John Fogerty,  More more >
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