Release Date: Sep 9, 2014
Record label: Dualtone Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Country-Rock
The fourth long-player from the gutsy roots rockers-turned arena-ready alt-pop spellcasters, Into the Wide offers up a more cohesive set of Americana-kissed electro-pop anthems than its strangely inert, eponymous 2012 predecessor did, invoking names like Coldplay, Elbow, the Killers, and even Electric Light Orchestra in the process. The latter looms large on the cavernous opener "Push It," a grandiose and soulful rumination on American exceptionalism (both the good and the bad) that sounds like it was pulled out of Jeff Lynne's dreaming head circa 1977 and then buffed and refurbished for the MP3 age. It's a bold and beautiful opening volley that makes the rest of the songs have to work a little bit harder to get the listener's attention, but multiple spins ultimately reveal a complete package.
Delta Spirit have been pretty vocal about not wanting to be pigeonholed as an Americana band. After following up their folksy 2008 debut, Ode to Sunshine, with the country-tinged History from Below in 2010, they definitely ran that risk. Heck, the first time I saw them live was at the Newport Folk Festival. When they set about recording their self-titled third record, they made a point to “get past the genre thing,” as frontman Matt Vasquez told Interview in 2012.
Four albums on, Delta Spirit takes another shift in sound, elevating their intents with a delivery that’s sweeping in its scope and execution. According to reports, Into the Wide was spawned from dire circumstance, a windowless, rat infested rehearsal room in Brooklyn that was ravaged by the effects of Super Storm Sandy. What emerged reflects those trying circumstances.
Originated in southern California and having made its last two discs in Brooklyn, Delta Spirit now calls Austin home. Bandleader Matt Vasquez grew up in Central Texas so it's not a random move. His group, however, has morphed into something totally unexpected. Into the Wide, the quintet's fourth LP, transforms Delta Spirit from something sunny and colored by Americana into a brooding, gloomy attack monster.
Delta Spirit’s third album, 2012’s Delta Spirit, was self-titled for a reason. After two strong but inconsistent albums (2008’s Ode To Sunshine and 2010’s History From Below), the band shed the folkiest elements of their sound and transformed into a streamlined, heartland alternative rock band. Delta Spirit was an incredibly successful experiment, yielding one of the band’s strongest and most accessible singles in the shape of California, and generally pointed towards Delta Spirit’s transformation from a good folk rock band into a great rock band.