Delta Spirit are a bit of an enigma. They got some buzz for their first album, Ode to Sunshine, in 2007 and scored a college radio hit with the single “People C’mon.” They quickly found themselves playing daytime sets at big festivals, and those who saw them live generally raved about the performance. Despite releasing two albums and an EP since then, and touring with the likes of My Morning Jacket, not much has changed for the band since then. They have not quite faded away a la Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or Tapes ‘n Tapes, but they have never quite taken the next step forward that they seem capable of, either. This may stem from a lack of identity; the band’s first two albums were often described as “rootsy” and “Americana,” but mixed in with the strong tracks in that vein were weaker cuts that felt like throw-ins.
For the new album, Delta Spirit teamed with TV on the Radio and Smith Westerns producer Chris Coady in an effort to shed the “rootsy” label. The record, described as “transitional” by Rolling Stone, has been hailed by some as a great step forward, but many feel that the album is overproduced and a betrayal of the following the band has built. Though I’m not quite sure where I stand in this debate, one thing is for sure: I do love lead single “California.” The band’s strength through the ups and downs has always been the emotion behind the songs, channeled perfectly through the voice of singer Matthew Vasquez. “All of the feelings that I know you never felt, and all of the simple words you never said, I want you to keep them like a secret for yourself, they’re not for me…”
Also recommended: “Empty House,” “People C’mon,” “Devil Knows You’re Dead”