The Rollo Treadway: 'Kidnapped'

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A collage of photographs depicting the fictional kidnapped children, from The Rollo Treadway's self-titled debut. hide caption

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The Rollo Treadway's self-titled debut sounds like something you'd find in a dusty record store that specializes in baroque pop and psychedelic rock from the 1960s. Listen to the five-part harmonies and jangly guitars, and you'd swear it was a long-forgotten album by The Zombies or The Byrds. But this Brooklyn-based quintet has only been together for two years — producing, in that time, a beautifully realized concept album of glittering, reverb-soaked gems that pay tribute to '60s pop, without sounding like a gimmicky imitation.

The 13 tracks on The Rollo Treadway detail the kidnapping of two children, told through the eyes of various characters. "This blindfold's pretty tight / I can't tell if it's day or night," frontman David Sandholm sings on the album opener. It's the beginning of a grim tale, made creepier by the cheery tone of the music itself.

"Dear Mr. Doe" begins with the clattering typewriter of the kidnapper composing his ransom note, as the band lists his demands with Beach Boys harmonies. "The Seahorse" is an instrumental interlude that sounds like a circus dirge, while the album closes with an a cappella lullaby: "Now it's time to say goodnight / Climb up into bed / No more time to laugh and play / Rest your little head."

The Rollo Treadway, which gets its name from Buster Keaton's character in the 1924 movie The Navigator, features David Sandholm on guitar and vocals, Tyler Wenzel on guitar, Jorg Kruckel on keyboards, Grant Zubritsky on bass guitar and Blake Fleming on drums.

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