5 Songs, 20 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A modest five-song set to tide fans over until the next album, Wait proves that Tim DeLaughter and the Polyphonic Spree are not standing pat with positive vibes and simple yet soaring songs. “Mental Cabaret” is dense, jumpy, and almost frenetic, featuring an overall ‘80s alt-pop vibe. The Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way” fits perfectly in the Spree’s flowing robes, holding up admirably under the weight of a vibrant, fleshed-out arrangement. “Sonic Bloom” is a DeLaughter song from his Tripping Daisy days, and it now sounds like an obvious Spree precursor. But what to make of their cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium”? The track opens and closes with the soothing tinkle of a piano, while DeLaughter sings the verses as if backed by a chorus of schoolgirls — a bit odd for sure, but they capture the anxiety, conflict, and urgency of the original. “I’m Calling” is a piano-driven pop ballad and a grand, shimmering sonic waterfall in the “classic” Spree style. DeLaughter sings with earnestness and innocence, his sunny chorus lifting him up: “When I’m in the light I feel OK,” they sing, “even when I’m down.” Perhaps things aren’t all sweetness and light for the Spree these days, but the added tension only seems to have broadened and deepened their sound.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A modest five-song set to tide fans over until the next album, Wait proves that Tim DeLaughter and the Polyphonic Spree are not standing pat with positive vibes and simple yet soaring songs. “Mental Cabaret” is dense, jumpy, and almost frenetic, featuring an overall ‘80s alt-pop vibe. The Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way” fits perfectly in the Spree’s flowing robes, holding up admirably under the weight of a vibrant, fleshed-out arrangement. “Sonic Bloom” is a DeLaughter song from his Tripping Daisy days, and it now sounds like an obvious Spree precursor. But what to make of their cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium”? The track opens and closes with the soothing tinkle of a piano, while DeLaughter sings the verses as if backed by a chorus of schoolgirls — a bit odd for sure, but they capture the anxiety, conflict, and urgency of the original. “I’m Calling” is a piano-driven pop ballad and a grand, shimmering sonic waterfall in the “classic” Spree style. DeLaughter sings with earnestness and innocence, his sunny chorus lifting him up: “When I’m in the light I feel OK,” they sing, “even when I’m down.” Perhaps things aren’t all sweetness and light for the Spree these days, but the added tension only seems to have broadened and deepened their sound.

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