Vocalist Fleming McWilliams’s voice soars from a waifish whisper to a Joplin-esque
wail to operatic diva, often in the same song. Multi-instrumentalist
John Painter assembles a dizzying palette of sounds, from buzzy,
riff-heavy guitars to horns, accordion, Middle Eastern percussion, and
theremin, which yields a general sense of weirdness–all set in a
perfectly pop context–while the Love Sponge String Quartet add sonic
depth and a Van Dyke Parks quality to several arrangements.
The lyrics are also great. When these albums appeared in the mid 1990s I thought these guys were going to be superstars and yet I’m about the only person I know who knows about them. Although they can be labeled pop/rock almost none of their songs follows a pop/rock formula and that may have reduced airplay. Their official website hasn’t been updated in years. If you run out and buy their albums or blog about them perhaps we can create enough economies of scale to induce a new album.