Low Hums // Old Light
While many rocking bands in San Francisco and beyond claim to be ‘garage’ bands’ – Kelley Stoltz has actually recorded his new LP “Double Exposure” in the garage behind his house. And while the car oil stained floors are covered by oriental rugs and there are no snow shovels laying around – there is a collection of vintage synths, 17 guitars, tape echos, mellotrons, a 50’s jukebox, a Teardrop Explodes poster, a tape machine used by The Residents, an amp used by Stooge James Williamson, and a myriad other noise making devices which rear their heads on his new record. All told the place is called Electric Duck Studio and it’s become a muse capturing zone for Stoltz, as well as Sonny & the Sunsets, The Mantles, Tim Cohen, Life Stinks, The Sandwitches and many other tuneweavers big and small.
“Double Exposure” is Kelley’s first album in a while – near on 3 years since his last one, “To Dreamers” came out on Sub Pop. What the heck has he been doing since, you ask? Well, renovating the garage for one, and using said garage studio to engineer, produce or encourage the above named bands… You see time flies when you’re having fun. Add in some love, a little heartbreak, turning 40, deciding to jog everyday, staring at the wall, singing hundreds of songs into the phone, sleeping, recording an album of cover songs with his family, making a couple 45 singles, catching white wine buzzes, getting dropped by Sub Pop, playing keyboards on tour with Rodriguez, and signing on with old supporters at Third Man Records… really it’s as good old Sandy Denny sang, who knows where the time goes.
Anyway, if you stir up all that stuff and a few other things we won’t mention here, you have the makings of a fantastic and heartfelt record, “Double Exposure” has 10 new jams that Thee Oh Sees main man, John Dwyer, describes thusly, “A piece of gold in your ear, A lovely thought in your mind, A breeze in the sun, This record is perfect…”
Nicely put there Johnny! And you too will thrill to the sound of delay pedals twisting the keys on “Inside My Head”, crane your neck to the backwards guitars of “Are You My Love”, ramble and gamble to the clanging cymbals on the title track, question the sanity of a song called “Kim Chee Taco Man”, and finally, fall down and weep at the sweet fluted sentiments of “It’s Summertime Again”.
For all of you Aussie rules fans, the album was mixed and mastered by Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring/Total Control and features Stoltz playing most of the instruments himself and overdubbing parts through his trusty 8 track tape machine.