album reviews

Deleted Scenes
Birdseed Shirt
What Delicate Recordings (2009)

Kindred spirits: Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Band of Horses

Deleted Scenes could be the poster child for the new wave of modern indie rock: The debut album "Birdseed Shirt" instantly brings to mind the exuberance of Band of Horses and chaos of the Arcade Fire, among other contemporary groups.

But beneath the fuzzy production and sonic similarities, the Scenes (originally from Olney) write some darn catchy tunes. The blurry, jolting organ that permeates "Fake IDs" can't obliterate the track's bouncing beat and Dan Scheuerman's soaring, Thom Yorke-esque vocals. The dreamlike "City That Never Wakes Up" layers two counterpointing vocal melodies over a galloping guitar line and drum beat.

Even when touching on more serious subjects, the Scenes have an air of wryness about them. The spiritual quest in "Got God" bears a sense of ennui ("Got God, got bored/Lost God, stayed bored"), but the quartet balances that aimlessness and laid-back lyrical drawl with subtle bursts of energy: keyboard trills, a handclapped rhythm and a faint hint of twang. The song sounds like a spontaneous campfire creation, and the Scenes have a delightful way of sounding both relaxed and completely engaged, all at the same time.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 3 July 2009
.: Birdseed Shirt on