A Summery Pop Romp
The Spinto Band return from a four-year hiatus with Shy Pursuit, a saccharine-sweet pop album that will be sure to get you in the mood for summer. After forming in Delaware back in 1996, the Spinto Band released a slew of records on their own Spintonic Records before switching to Bar/None and Park the Van Records in the 2000s, when the group wrote its breakout hit “Oh, Mandy.” Shy Pursuit finds the band returning to the Spintonic name and pursuing a more nuanced sound.
The album resonates with richly layered compositions like the quirky, percussive “Muesli,” strikingly similar to the Afrobeat of indie darlings Vampire Weekend. “Leave Yourself Alone” finds the band using the same syncopated rhythm and bright guitars. Vocal harmonies from guitarist Nick Krill and bassist Thomas Hughes decorate the bouncy melodies on “Jackhammer.”
The band take on a darker sound for “Adda Lee,” replete with an acoustic guitar exploring somber, minor tonalities, but they don’t stay down for long. “Adda Lee” morphs back into a jazzy anthem, becoming almost danceable after a minute or two. “Keep Them Alive” finds Krill singing about guns and bullets, but the rapid tempo and bright poppy synths belie its serious subject matter.
Perhaps what is most admirable about the Spinto Band is their unflagging positive energy. The bright “Cookies Falls,” with its dreamy melodies, and the warm acoustic guitar on “The Living Things” are sure to improve your mood, and the funky walking bass of “Take It” will get your toes tapping.
Shy Pursuit is an apt title for the album, though. The Spinto Band doesn’t take many risks, stylistic or otherwise. It’s a very economical record; short and sweet, barely lasting a half-hour. Yet Krill and company show themselves capable of writing both catchy gems and music that’s a little more complex, combining elements of retro pop and world beats into an enjoyable, if brief, pop album.