Release Date: Feb 15, 2011
Record label: Slumberland
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop
It took Brown Recluse a long time to follow up their 2009 Soft Skin EP with an album, especially considering that the songs for the EP were recorded in 2007 and Evening Tapestry was released four long years later. The extra time was worth it though, because you’re unlikely to find a better-constructed, more concise example of orchestrated pop in 2011. Both the sound and the songs are first-rate and they work together to place the band proudly in the long-running orch pop tradition they are so obviously influenced by.
Philadelphia's Brown Recluse make music in the long tradition of indie pop that's heavy on emotion, but the intimacy of these songs extends beyond just feelings. The band takes its name from a dangerous spider whose venom can cause skin lesions, so the Fantastic Voyage-like concern with bodily systems here seems fitting. This focus is there even when the lyrics turn towards the surreal, as when frontman Tim Meskers sings on "Wooden Fingers" about "dreams still trickling from my eyes." The vague nature of dreams and memories pervades Evening Tapestry.
On their full-length debut, Brown Recluse bridges the sonic divide between two of their neo-psychedelic contemporaries—the hazy, expansive sound of Tame Impala and Dungen’s precise pop contours—while keeping their feet firmly planted in ‘60s sunshine pop. The Philadelphia sextet has an ear for melody, and like those on the band’s early EPs, strong hooks carry the 11 tracks on Evening Tapestry. Throw in Stuart Murdoch-sounding vocals and you’ve got a recipe for something compelling.
Timothy Meskers and Mark Saddlemire, the two-man core of Philadelphia’s Brown Recluse, have a pretty clear love of the psychedelic pop of the past, whether it’s the lush harmonies of the Zombies or the swirling horn sections of Sgt. Pepper’s-era Beatles. Over the course of releasing two solid EPs and touring behind the likes of Pains of Being Pure at Heart, that core added four musicians and consequently developed a more florid, emotional sound.