Delta Spirit recently released their latest studio album, and their is something to be said for a group who waits until their third full-length recording to self-title the release and Delta Spirit seems in this case to announce that “this” is the sound that Delta Spirit has been growing towards. The opening track “Empty House” is a builder. Matt Vasquez’s distinctive voice calls out from the start, building as the song progresses into something bigger and stronger, as if gaining confidence throughout the song itself. This is a perfect opener to the album, it’s similar enough to previous works to be familiar, pulling the listener in with open arms.
“Tear It Up” is up next, and with this song not only switches gears but gets out and jumps into an entirely different car. Keyboard, a repetitive chant and howling, and almost manic vocals by Vasquez make this song completely different from anything Delta Spirit has recorded previously. It’s a switch. A big switch.
The biographical “California” is deeply personal and heartfelt, swimming in organ and certainly a high-point on the album this will seem very familiar to long-time Delta Spirit fans. “Otherside” is a dreamy piece perfect for the warm days of sunshine ahead; reminiscent of the post-punk late-80’s it works well on this album. There are a few songs on the record that seem out of step, “Idaho” and “Telling the Mind” seem almost like an afterthought, slightly out of focus when compared to the others. After a few spins it is clear they are intentional, but perhaps misinterpreted, worth a listen but not playlist worthy.
As the album draws to a close “Money Saves” will make the listener forget any previous missteps. Strong on it’s own or bumped up against anything in current rotation it is certainly one of the best on the album and in Delta Spirit’s entire catalog.
Two additional (hidden) tracks, including The Zombies cover of “She’s Not There” lend a playful feeling to the record. If this is the new, evolved Delta Spirit sound it will be interesting to explore and dissect. The rhythm of the album seems to change, as if each song were a new collaboration. Solidly produced and mastered well this is recommended listening, available in both digital format and vinyl at your usual outlets.
Word has it that Delta Spirit puts on a heckuva live show, by the sounds of this album it is one you will want to check out, and conveniently they are on tour in support of this album.
by Meredith Underhill
Delta Spirit’s Delta Spirit