Saturday, July 03, 2010

Day 50 - Seth Swirsky's Summer Rainbow

Seth Swirsky, half of the great Red Button, returns with Watercolor Day, a fragile pop song cycle bursting with great arrangements and melodies. Where the Red Button finds its inspiration in Beatle-y power pop, Watercolor Day oozes Brother-era Beach Boys and the ambitious orch-pop of the Zombies.

While some songs seem like lyric fragments, the gentle strum of "Watercolor Day" is bolstered by gentle pedal steel and a horn blast that wouldn't sound out of place on a Los Lobos jam. The "Summer In Her Hair" is what I'd hope The Shins aspire to - simple, direct songwriting that wafts through the speakers like a rainbow over a hammock. There is little to no negativity on these album except the odd plea of "Twenty Minutes to Myself" with its "I love the silence" refrain. The gorgeous "She's Doing Fine" sounds like it could have been the flip side of the Beach Boys "Caroline No" and the Nilsson tribute "(I Never Knew You) Harry" pays respect to an unsung inspiration (love the vocals on this one).

But what really stands out and elevates the album are the sterling arrangements - it's one of the finest produced albums I've heard all year. If you swoon to the Bacharach-David catalog, the Walker Brothers regal pop or just need a dose of west coast sun-splashed magic for you summer soundtrack, look no further than Seth Swirsky's Watercolor Day.

And keep an eye out for the second album by the Red Button, due in February 2011.

No comments: