The resemblance is eerie at first: Rami Vierulas easy-going, high-pitched keen echoes Gibbards, while the bands dreamy soundscapes within indie-pop structures call up comparisons to both The Photo Album and Codes and Keys.
But the aesthetic distance that Pitchfork blasted in their review of Codes and I noted in passing is not present here. These songs sound grounded and intimate, despite their tightly constructed arrangements. Delay Trees greatest accomplishment is the fact that the appealing little cottage somehow contains a mansion inside it without losing the perks of either.
It helps that the melodies are immediate and Velcro-lined. The group bakes the cake and then melts candy bars on top of it. About Brothers has a beautiful whoa-oh section that is only trumped by the shiver-inducing one in Tarantula/Holding On. You know when bands try to force epic things into otherwise normal songs? Thats not what Delay Trees is about. They painstakingly build their tunes, and the payoffs are all the more great because of it (Whales and Colors, In February).
But they pass the pop-song test as well: I woke up this morning with the verse melody from Cassette 2012 in my head. Its an incredibly pleasant way to wake up.
Delay Trees has constructed a beautiful album that should not be missed by those who love indie pop or the mellowed side of indie rock. I foresee myself spinning this many more times this year, as it is at least equal, if not better than Death Cabs latest. Stephen Carradini
Download "Cassette 2012."