Courtesy of the artist
Crystal Stilts' "Flying Into the Sun" is a romping '60s rocker filled with open guitar chords, rattling tambourines and churning Farfisa organ.
Crystal Stilts' "Flying Into the Sun" is a romping '60s rocker filled with open guitar chords, rattling tambourines and churning Farfisa organ. Courtesy of the artist
Song: "Flying Into the Sun"
Artist: Crystal Stilts
CD: In Love With Oblivion
If it were possible to excise Brad Hargett's vocals from Crystal Stilts' songs, it would sound like a very different band. Underneath all that cavernous reverb is a warm, summery quality that owes as much to 1960s psychedelia as it does to the '80s post-punk sound that has become its signature.
But with Hargett's brooding, low bass — a voice somewhere in the same deep range as Joy Division's Ian Curtis or The National's Matt Berninger — those same songs are transformed into uneasy, sometimes sinister set pieces about regret, emptiness and learning to shake off the pain of the past.
Much of In Love With Oblivion, Crystal Stilts' second record, plays with that duality between darkness and light. "Flying Into the Sun" is a romping '60s rocker filled with brightly raked, open guitar chords, rattling tambourines and warm, churning Farfisa organ. But Hargett's stoic croon elevates the sense of morose detachment. "There's a black hole behind these eyes that takes everything with it when it dies," he sings, awash in icy echoes that ring out as if he's singing to the rafters of an empty gymnasium. Still, it's not all somber grieving: The song's final refrain teases out a desire to spend our waning days with a loved one. A turn toward the positive, it shows that at the heart of Crystal Stilts' music is something heartfelt and earnest.