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Artist of the Month
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May 2016
Residuels
"Love Songs
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Philly rock ‘n’ rollers Justin Pittney, Mike Cammarata, and Kyle Garvey (a.k.a. Residuels) revamp essential garage cuts on their latest release Love Songs. Available now via Suicide Bong Tapes, the three-piece’s cassette kick-starts with a full-throttle rendition of Rich Berry’s “Have Love, Will Travel.” The power trio’s frenetic take on the song that put bands like Thee Headcoatees and Paul Revere & the Raiders on the map is far from derivative. From the very first lick of guitar, Pittney and his bandmates tap into the original fury at the center of “Have Love Will Travel,” using crashing riffs and uninhibited vocals reminiscent of The Gories.
 
Residuels’ take on The Damned’s debut single “New Rose” is similarly inventive, giving listeners an unadulterated taste of the original song’s rhythm and fuzz. Pittney channels Dave Vanian with ease, mimicking the legendary Londoner’s punk-as-fuck diction as if he wrote the track himself. Clocking in at a few seconds shy of three minutes, the second track on Love Songs is arguably one of the best renditions of the ‘76 single.
 
The same could be said for “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” Opening with a guttural scream, the group’s tribute to psych-rock icons The 13th Floor Elevators is perfectly executed, with each chord and clash of cymbal adding to the instrumented intensity of the already well-loved garage classic. “You’re Gonna Miss Me” feels like a stubborn tantrum, the sonic manifestation of the sort of longing that is borne of desperation and pure desire that is mirrored in the album’s closer “It Girl.” Residuels’ jangly styling of one the most lovelorn (and heart-wrenching) tracks on The Brian Jonestown Massacre's fifth LP is equally captivating, despite being one of Love Song’s quietest tracks, leaving listeners smitten. For die-hard fans of garage rock and newcomers alike, Love Songs doesn’t just pay homage to the genre’s past; it celebrates its vibrant present. - Dianca London

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The Deli Philly’s October Album of the Month: Soft Fall - Sun Airway

The Deli Philly’s October Album of the Month: Soft Fall - Sun Airway

Versailles and French Surrealism are cited as influences for Sun Airway’s sophomore full-length album, Soft Fall. Yeah, pretty much: with lush arrangements and massive textures of sound, Soft Fall, is a giant, gorgeous record decked with chopped-up classical music samples and hooks that envelop the listener. Sun Airway’s all-encompassing sense of maximalism echoes what M83 did last year on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, making the familiar, comfortable turns of pop music vibrant and fresh by infusing some reverb and a soothing synth-tone. The result is a record that feels safe - not safe in the sense that it’s dull and afraid to take risks, but safe in the way that home feels safe, in the way you know the roads, the haunts, the people, and intrinsically understand that you’re not in any danger.
 
Yep, we’re in dream-pop territory, and Sun Airway’s Jon Barthmus plays admirably to the genre’s strengths. Guitar and keyboard lines come together like coast and tide - the line definitely there but impossible to define. Governing it all is Barthmus’ smooth, breathy baritone, which is seductive without flair for dramatics. On album highlight “Close,” he sighs “you’ve never known loneliness before/I tried to get close to you,” which sounds pretty glum, but the song itself is practically ecstatic. The work on that is done by breakneck drums, an impressionistic Cure hook and a guitar occasionally squealing gleefully in the background. Barthmus’ understated vocals give the song room to soar, and soar it does; it’s an absolutely killer tune. Instrumental interludes are scattered throughout the LP guiding you to and from other standouts on the record like “Wild Palms” and “Symphony In White No. 2” (that also appeared together last year on the 7” vinyl single that followed the band’s beautiful debut Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier).
 
As is often the case with dream-pop, the sonic palette that washes melodic lines together eventually extends to the songs themselves, and while Soft Fall is never boring, the distinctions between individual tracks become less and less vital as the album gels into one solid artistic statement, which makes Soft Fall a perfect little record to escape with. It’s a great way to drop menial anxieties for nearly 45 minutes and enter a pleasant state where nothing will frighten you and you’re comfortably safe as can be making any fall more enjoyable as you take in the sights from above. Soft Fall officially drops tomorrow via Dead Oceans. - Adam Downer
 

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