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Wide-Open Spaces and Large-Scale Sounds

Miracle Mile

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Pompeii injects a bit of force into its chiming, melodic, mid-tempo indie-rock. hide caption

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Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "Miracle Mile"
  • Artist: Pompeii
  • CD: Assembly
  • Genre: Pop-Rock

Of all the musicians aspiring to the grandiose, room-filling pop-rock of Coldplay or U2, few make a lasting impression. But the Texas band Pompeii outshines its many similarly inclined contemporaries by injecting a bit of force into its chiming, melodic, mid-tempo indie-pop.

"Miracle Mile" begins inauspiciously, with the quiet but building drone of sweet guitars over a restrained beat. Singer Dean Stafford comes in somberly alongside chiming guitars as Caitlin Bailey's cello fills in the moments of respite. Stafford's warm tenor sounds sincere and emotive without seeming whiny, though he does bear a striking sonic similarity to Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard. Bailey's cello provides extra texture, and the interplay of the electric bass and her strings gives Pompeii's low end unexpected depth. Full of wide-open spaces and large-scale sounds, "Miracle Mile" gradually turns up the intensity, slowly but inevitably building to a catchy climax.

Sophisticated, shimmering instrumentation and moody atmospherics are rarely executed so effectively, especially by a band this young. With any luck, the ambitious and deserving group will soon land on teen dramas and commercials for bittersweet romantic comedies, where its songs belong.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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