11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Big Echo opens with the entrancing, vintage-inspired “Excuses,” a gently roiling, orchestral number with sweeping strings and full-bodied acoustic guitar, singer Christopher Chu belting out a melody that conflates a ‘50s crooner-styled sentimentality with ‘60s pop optimism. Where the San Francisco band’s 2008 debut, Talking Through Tin Cans, was a toothsome treat of sunny pop, Big Echo feels a little bigger — not to mention deeper — thanks in no small part to Chu’s co-producer, Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear.  Sonically, the textures and tones are darker and more expansive, as on the tactile “Pleasure Sighs” and the swooping, slicing “Promises,” and clattering snares and ominous bass drums are more resonant throughout. Atmospheric numbers like “Sleepin In” and “Mason Jar” keep the collection out of the Beatles/Beach Boys realm, and even the seemingly lighter weight “Wet Cement” moves with spidery grace, nimbly sprinting from booming bass drum to sparkling guitar fills. “All Day Day Light” is a buried treasure, calling for fingersnapping and hip-swinging of the highest order.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Big Echo opens with the entrancing, vintage-inspired “Excuses,” a gently roiling, orchestral number with sweeping strings and full-bodied acoustic guitar, singer Christopher Chu belting out a melody that conflates a ‘50s crooner-styled sentimentality with ‘60s pop optimism. Where the San Francisco band’s 2008 debut, Talking Through Tin Cans, was a toothsome treat of sunny pop, Big Echo feels a little bigger — not to mention deeper — thanks in no small part to Chu’s co-producer, Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear.  Sonically, the textures and tones are darker and more expansive, as on the tactile “Pleasure Sighs” and the swooping, slicing “Promises,” and clattering snares and ominous bass drums are more resonant throughout. Atmospheric numbers like “Sleepin In” and “Mason Jar” keep the collection out of the Beatles/Beach Boys realm, and even the seemingly lighter weight “Wet Cement” moves with spidery grace, nimbly sprinting from booming bass drum to sparkling guitar fills. “All Day Day Light” is a buried treasure, calling for fingersnapping and hip-swinging of the highest order.

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