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Kelley Stoltz: Circular Sounds

B

Kelley Stoltz

Album: Circular Sounds
Label: Sub Pop

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Kelley Stoltz is well-versed in iconic/eclectic '60s rock—The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd—and he synthesizes bits of them into weird, twittering pop songs. Consequently, Circular Sounds, Stoltz's fourth long-player, sounds an awful lot like The Kinks—if The Kinks had been left alone in an elementary-school music classroom with an 8-track and some mallets. Circular Sounds is brimming with unidentifiable gasps and skronks, and while it occasionally seems like Stoltz, a longtime advocate of home recording, spends a little too much time knee-deep in obscure noisemakers, his scrappiest tracks are also his best. Songs like "To Speak To The Girl" (honest refrain: "It's hard / To speak to the girl") are charming and tinted with just enough whimsy, while the acoustic "Something More" is genuinely lovely, a perfect showpiece for Stoltz's high, winsome mew.