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Old Home Movies

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Album Review

You'd never know from listening that it took the Botticellis' four years to craft their debut album Old Home Movies. It sounds like the work of one sun-soaked late summer afternoon spent playing tunes with friends and family. The album is suffused with warmth and peacefulness that flows from the gentle strum of the guitars, the rich organ that seeps into songs like the golden glow of a sunset, the lush vocal harmonies, and the classic pop song structures laid down by the group's architect Alexi Glickman. He also possesses the kind of sweet, high voice that would have held him in good stead in the Wilson household. Indeed like much West Coast pop since about 1962 on, the Botticellis have drawn influence from the Beach Boys. In this case it's the late-'60s version of the band when the boys sported beards and preferred to surf their inner consciousness rather than the waves. You can also hear Phil Spector in the reverb-y production, power pop in some of the more uptempo tracks (like the back-to-back crunch of "Up Against the Glass" and "The Reviewer," which are enough to put every band on Rainbow Quartz to shame), '70s AM radio pop in the slow, sensitive ballads (the gloriously sugar-y "Who Are You Now" would have slotted in perfectly between Bread and Seals & Crofts), and the peppy jangle of modern Canadian indie pop. These influences are very well blended into an overall sound that is purely the band's own, though, and it's easy to enjoy the album on its own instead of constantly, distractingly, playing spot the lift. Maybe it's the craft that went into making the album, the sheer amount of time they must have taken picking the best songs and performances that makes Old Home Movies so fully realized. Maybe it's just a happy accident. No matter, the important thing is that the album is as fine a slice of warm, sweet indie pop as you're liable to find in 2008 or anytime.

Biography

Formed: San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Hailing from the beachside city of San Francisco, the Botticellis combine pop-based songcraft with dreamy guitars, analog production techniques, and a nostalgic love for surfing. Founders Zack Ehrlich and Alexi Glickman were raised in Southern California, where they launched a songwriting partnership in middle school and often visited Venice Beach to surf. They took a liking to the area's steady stream of hollow, chest-high waves, nicknaming them botticellis (Italian for "little barrels") and absorbing...
Full bio
Old Home Movies, The Botticellis
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