September 29, 2013

Kelley Stoltz, "Double Exposure"

There are few pop songwriters currently operating on the same level as Kelley Stoltz. The man just keeps pumping out record after record of catchy, bittersweet gems. It's been about three years since his last one, and I was beginning to wonder if and when we'd hear from him again. But forgiveness is warranted -- he's moved into a new recording studio, a shed behind his house here in San Francisco, and it appears the faucet has never stopped flowing. The new record, Double Exposure, is just stacked with brilliant tunes. It's more intimate and laid back than 2010's amped-up To Dreamers. Lots of mellotrons, pianos, synths, tambourines and shimmery guitars. The title track has a thumping fuzz bass backbone, but that's about as rowdy as it gets. From there, Stoltz takes us right into the nine-minute daydream of "Inside My Head," then onto the funky, drum machine-powered "Still Feel." The closer, "Summertime Again," is a slice of spacey bliss. So, about the video I've embedded above. "Kim Chee Taco Man," which falls half-way into side B, is definitely the weirdest song on the record and undeniably a little stupid. But it's super-catchy. And who says you can't take your work seriously and still have a bit of fun? Judging by the video, it's some sort of LSD send-up. Either that, or it's really just a song about delicious tacos. There's some deep poetry going on here, too. "Kim Chee Taco Man / Ko-rean Mexi-can." Certainly the very best rhyme on the whole album.