Texarkana’s latest export, Pilotdrift, has recently released Water Sphere, which runs the gamut of musical styles from cool, rhythmically-driven, Indie Pop to scary, Fellini-esque, Cabaret tunes. Pilotdrift managed to catch the attention of Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter and Julie Doyle, who own Good Records. They consigned their first self-released CD, Iter Facere (5 of the 13 tracks ended up on Water Sphere) at Good Records and shortly thereafter became the first band to be signed to Good Records Recordings that was not a product of DeLaughter.
Upon first listen, I could easily tell that these guys defy simple categorization of their music and that little to none of the creative soundscapes on Water Sphere were accidental or random studio magic. The fact that Pilotdrift calls Texarkana, Texas home, seemed unusual at first, but then again, the Flaming Lips call Norman, Oklahoma home. Pilotdrift (Kelly Carr – lead vocals/piano/acoustic guitar, Jay Budzilowski – bass, Ben Rice – drums, Eric Russell – electronics/guitar, and John David Blagg – electric guitar) slides comfortably between several musical genres while showcasing their vast lexicon of musical styles and influences.
I have to admit, when I first popped this CD into my car stereo and cranked the volume to get the total effect, a few of the songs (“Late Night in a Wax Museum” and “Jekyll & Hyde Suite”) initially gave me the heebie-jeebies just by virtue of their dynamic range and the brooding mood they created. Throughout the album, I could hear likely influences from contemporaries like Supergrass, Radiohead, Mercury Rev, Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips, and Sigur Ros. Some of my favorite tracks are:
“Caught in My Trap” – An intricate, Alt-Rock Opera in three movements.
“Comets” – A beautifully textured, ethereal tune complete with haunting, breathy choral arrangements