The Key Studio Sessions: Circadian Rhythms

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Philly psych pop travelers Circadian Rhythms are coming up on their first decade as a band, and have they got a great new record to show for it. It’s called A Peculiar Kind of Afternoon and it releases early this summer. The nine songs contained within are a beautiful collection of catchy pop with delicate orchestrations and a psychedelic flourish in the vein of The Beach Boys and The Left Banke.

The sextet is made up of dueling singer-guitarist-songwriters James Mueller and Harry Murtha, bassist Yeho Bostick, violinist Jessica Tucci, keyboardist Michael Eckstrom and drummer Christopher Clark; collectively, they write music in the same spirit as their local rock forerunners Dr. Dog, drawing on the time-tested left-of-center approaches of yesteryear and recontextualizing them for today’s listeners. You can even hear suave and soulful echoes of Dr. Dog’s Toby Leaman on Circadian Rhythms’ “Don’t Leave Me,” which they performed for us during their Key Studio Session; watch a video of that performance below, via VuHaus.

Circadian Rhythms showcased three tracks from Peculiar in their performance — the opening title cut, a jaunty gem with a sunny outlook about slowing down and appreciating the good in your surroundings, even when it seems like the world is falling down around you. “The Wait” is murky and mysterious, a nervous minor key rumination giving way to unexpected brightness when Tucci’s violin cuts through the haze. As a bonus, the band played us out on an unreleased untitled instrumental number that totally swings; as I told Mueller, it reminds me of the more orchestral side of Gamble and Huff. Or, more accurately, it reminds me of Belle and Sebastian when it went through its Gamble and Huff phase on Dear Catastrophe Waitress. In any case, it’s a pure delight as the credits roll.

Listen to Circadian Rhythms’ Key Studio Session below, and grab a free download of the set via Soundcloud. Though the Bandcamp for A Peculiar Kind of Afternoon says the release date doesn’t hit till January, 2037, Meuller and the band assure me the record is officially on its way this summer. Rumor has it they might even have some early CD copies available when they headline PhilaMOCA this Saturday. Tickets and more information on that show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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