It’s been a long couple weeks, broken up by four days of physical and mental torture known as Lollapalooza. Over that time, the only new music I’ve really enjoyed is the new album from Tampa, Florida-based band DieAlps!. There’s something unexplainably listenable to their sound, it’s just very easy to digest. That isn’t to say it’s simple music, because at times there’s a lot of moving parts.
The big thing Our City has going for it is the shared vocals of husband and wife duo Frank and Connie Calcaterra. I hope that their marriage includes the same kind of beautiful harmony that exists in their voices. Sometimes bands that have more than one vocalist have an issue, because the change from one singer to the next can be jarring, but here they flow together very well. Frank has a kind of Ben Gibbard thing going on-a bit more bite to his voice, a little more world-weary than Gibbard’s soft sweetness can achieve. Connie falls somewhere between Aimee Mann and Laura Veirs.
They said that they wanted the record to have a 90’s vibe, and I think that they succeeded for the most part. At times it feels very poppy, Sixpence None The Richer-style. Other times it gets more folk-inspired, like on “Dwight,” where it gets into a Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough” space.
But then you listen to “Hands Up” and think more like Mazzy Star or other shoegaze bands. The fuzzy guitar work in the last third of the song is really great. Truly one of the stand out moments of Our City.
After making music together for five years, I’m glad the pair finally found time to make a full-length record. Along with Sarah Modene and Jonathan Robbins, they’ve delivered a fine introduction through which people can get to know them. It’s available now on Bandcamp as well as Spotify. Or you can be cool like me and order it on vinyl (limited to 200 copies and colored yellow!)