Monday, August 29, 2005

Now Playing: The Tyde

These two little-known discs have been in near-constant rotation on the ol' Pop Kulcher iPod for the past week or so. The Tyde rose up a few years ago out of the ashes of much-beloved (if slightly overrated) SoCal psychedelic/country band Beachwood Sparks. The Sparks managed 2 albums and an EP before imploding, mixing Gram Parsons-infused California twang with 60s-styled headphone-friendly weirdness. Three of the members have carried on as The Tyde, offering up two fine (if largely indistinguishable) discs to date -- 2001's Once and 2003's (like you didn't see it coming) Twice. Though a bit of the Sparks' country twang infuses the music here and there, and there are traces of latent psychedelia, the Tyde primarily sticks with more straightforward indie pop, jangly guitars and catchy hooks and a slack, wispy casualness that calls to mind a more Byrds-y Pavement (and, indeed, some of the songs are dead ringers for the Preston School of Industry, the lazy pop band fronted by ex-Pavement guitarist Spiral Stairs). The almost tossed-off effortlessness of the songs may keep them from permanently etching themselves in your brain, as might have been the case with a more polished production, but it also gives them a freshness lacking in some radio-friendly indie pop, and makes the occasionally sappy lovestruck lyrics sound positively earnest. It's hard to pick one of these over the other -- the only real fault to be found is the sameness between the two -- but either way you can't go wrong.


At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark... thanks for shedding some light on this great pop band. I love Twice... it was the soundtrack to my summer.

BTW, when are you gonna check out the Heavy Blinkers? They are the finest pop band since mid-70's Beach Boys.



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