Release Date: Feb 5, 2008
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Indie rock auteur Kelley Stoltz has moved away from the "lo-fi" tag with each successive album. Circular Sounds is his lushest production yet, but it still bears Stoltz's eclectic stamp, sounding less like the work of a conventional musician and more like the complicated workings of a record collector's brain. The disparate influences of the Kinks, Nick Drake, and Brian Wilson all share equal space here, from the twangy, handclapped shuffle of "To Speak to the Girl" to the druggy harmonies and eccentricities that make "You Alone" sound like a long-lost ballad from Brian Wilson's Smile.
Sub Pop's sparkling second wave continues to roll and foam, with San Francisco's Kelley Stoltz currently riding the surf. A singer-songwriter who began his career as an intern opening Jeff Buckley's fan mail, he's now been creating laidback guitar confections from his home studio since 1999. His fourth album's big, ramshackle pop suggests his neighbours' ears must be permanently perked.
Kelley Stoltz’s music preaches to the choir. If you’re not already a believer in the aesthetic supremacy of music that sprouts from a field seeded with beat combo dynamics and fertilized by ’60s and ’70s-vintage studio experimentation, you’re not going to have much time for it. But if you’ve already heard the word, you’ll want to listen to Circular Sounds to get that highly satisfying “they DO still make ‘em like they used to” feeling.
Like labelmate Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, Kelley Stoltz grows substantial facial hair and has a way with words: "When there was fruit on the vine, tequila and lime, it was always fine," he sings on "Put My Troubles to Sleep. " Yet where Beam has beefed up his bedroom dithering, Stoltz appears content to fiddle about without much concern for the world outside. "When You Forget" follows "Put My Trouble .