BOOT & SADDLE

1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Morgan Delt

Morgan Delt

Mass Gothic, Groovy Movies

Wed, September 21, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Morgan Delt
Morgan Delt
The invocation of classic west coast psychedelia that permeates Morgan Delt’s Sub Pop debut LP feels like a continuous sunrise, never concealing its influences yet perfectly putting its songs through a gauzy lens that blurs and obscures. Is such a thing even possible after witnessing umpteen reverb-jockeys creating their own take on the genre? Can anything truly different be done in the realm of being both original and reverent, wearing favorite records and artists’ moves on one’s sleeve? Definitely the case with our man here. After releasing a 6-song cassette in 2013 followed by a full length for the Trouble In Mind label, the California native now fine-tunes his sound world outwardly rather than honing in on a specific trajectory, allowing all of said influences to coexist together in a unique yet undoubtedly Californian vision.

The resulting 10-song collection, performed entirely by Delt, recorded in his Topanga Canyon studio and then mastered by JJ Golden, is a home-fi construction with a more subtle, braintickling character than its predecessor, and somewhat reflects a realist take on the flower power fantasy of 1967. Doused in echo and haze, slow chords lap in like Pacific waves, flanked by gentle whispers of multi-tracked, cooing vox, phased guitars and fuzz that calmly surrounds the listener’s head less than it jabs at the cortex. Opener “I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside” is almost the sharpest-sounding number on the record with jittery, choogling guitar that makes its dry solo run upfront, appearing mid-song out of a fog. The sense of home experimentation amidst the lo-fidelity and oozy layers of vocals almost brings to mind Christine McVie’s lush pacification of Lindsey Buckingham’s deliberate New Wave pot-stirring on Tusk, but unlike that record, Delt’s futurism fog can’t help but nod to Sunset acid of days of yore. One doesn’t need to listen close to extract healthy doses of Notorious Byrd Brothers, Curt Boettcher, Terry Riley, and Buffalo Springfield in the stew with a solid line of fluttery electronics that fizzle in and out of the floaty arrangements. “Sun Powers” hits the deck like a lift-off from a ‘70s UK sci-fi TV show, sunny tremolo zipping in circles around warm Zombies-like vocals coming out of some kinda cave, lovely melodies and words overriding any turbulence or background FX.

The great thing about Delt’s approach to such history is (and sorry to sound harsh) that unlike too many of his so-called L.A. psych-rock peers, there’s no costume involved, no application of a conjured identity to match a specific image. He’s no psychedelic Civil War re-enactor, so to speak. It’s subtle and tactful revisionism without using psychedelia as a crutch/easy marketing tool and letting the sounds come out and make their own case. So many ideas and levels of activity move around the ascents and descents of songs like “Age of the Birdman” (an ode to the survivors of Easter Island’s environmental collapse) and the flowing “Another Person” that you’re just asked to lay down and let it all cover you over rather than contemplate much else. Yet there’s a certain acknowledgement that the beauty must be preserved by proactive consciousness/action in the world.

It takes a creative mind to hone in on a song like “Escape Capsule” without wearing out well-trodden use of tablas and electric drones. More often than not it all traditionally can fall into Beatles or Spacemen 3 terrain, but on this song Delt can transport what would normally be a dark-n-druggy blanket into a much more optimistic and friendly listening experience. Despite his voice being channelled through hallucinatory effects, it’s warm and inviting, projecting a sense of hope (particularly in “Some Sunsick Day,” which evokes the hopeful “We’ll Meet Again” as the world explodes at the end of Dr. Strangelove, later covered by the Byrds). It’s more or less just an invite to watch the sun rise too.
Mass Gothic
After nearly ten years as the creative force behind much-loved New York rock outfit Hooray For Earth, Noel Heroux had lost his way. "I was constantly cutting corners and phoning everything in," he says. "I was super depressed. I was creatively frustrated. I was emotionally unavailable to the people I really really wanted to be there for—and no matter how much I cared, I just couldn't change. But when I realized that I needed to end the band and just try again, my head cleared and the clouds parted. I'd been derailed somehow," he adds. "So I allowed myself to return to the beginning."

This year marks the release of Mass Gothic, the Massachusetts-bred, New York-based singer/songwriter's self-titled Sub Pop debut. Written and recorded at home over four months during the winter of 2014-2015, it's a stunning reminder of not just Heroux's own remarkable talents as singer and songwriter, but how unbridled creativity can both sound and feel as well: Before Hooray For Earth had quickly become a fully-functioning band, it began as a solo project. No pressure or compromises—just Heroux, a four-track, and an irrepressible urge to "jot down all of the noise and music floating around in my head" and make it available to other people. "All I wanted to do was whatever I do when I'm alone and I'm unconcerned with what anyone else wants or expects," he says. "I did my best to let go, and what came out was pure, uncut. It reminded me of the first few times I made music, when I was a young kid. I didn't set any rules and I had zero expectations."

The result is an expansive, often exhilarating set of guitar-driven pop that required very little editing when it was done. Additional mixing was provided by Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio) with mastering done by Greg Calbi (Father John Misty, Tame Impala) at Sterling Sound. From the iridescent doo-wop of "Every Night You've Got To Save Me" to the skyward crescendo of "Mind Is Probably" to the falsetto-streaked clatter of "Want To, Bad," it's a radiant retelling of Heroux's starting over, with "Nice Night" as its cathartic, electrifying centerpiece. "A lot of these songs are more or less a really dramatic, loud apology/thank you note," he says, referencing his partner, collaborator, and tour mate, Jessica. "It didn't matter where any of the sounds came from. I just cared that it sounded big and heavy, and that it was moving when it was done. It's a clean slate entirely—and I'm so relieved."
Groovy Movies
Groovy Movies
Groovy Movies is the brainchild of Nick Carlisi, former bass/piano/organ/rhythm guitar/harmonica/tambourine player for The Tough Shits. After leaving the band for being ostracized for not wearing shoes in the van and talking too much in between every single song at shows, he decided to start his own project where he could embrace his love of/obsession with harmony laden psychedelic sunshine pop and not be pressured into wearing shoes in the van.

The self titled debut record was recorded at 3 different studios in 3 different cities: Philadelphia, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Long story. It was a weird year.

In the studio, he harmonizes with himself and plays all of the instruments that he can and gets his friends to play what he can't or is too tired to play. Live, he sings, bounces between guitar and piano and gets his friends to harmonize with and play everything else, because he can only sing one part and play one instrument at a time. And because it’s fun to play with your friends.

He feels weird about referring to himself in the third person and only does so when writing bios.

After a self release on cassette, Groovy Movies will see a proper vinyl release via Hidden Volume Records out of Baltimore. Release date TBA.
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147
http://www.bootandsaddlephilly.com