Delta Dart – Lonestar

Delta Dart

While a resurgence in post-production effects and expensive technical elements seems to be appearing in indie rock these days, Delta Dart sound quite proud of their own simplicity. Using just acoustic and electric guitars, a bass, an old Casio, a turntable, and voices, this release was put together and maintains a very organic, simple, pure feel. It’s sincere, something that a lot of music is lacking.
Erin McCarley, formerly of bands like The Makeshift Conspiracy and the Heartbreak Kids, lays down most of the music for these songs, and Amber Bayer, formerly of Blue Monday and Echo Sonora, and Amber Bayer, of Firesign and the Petal Pushers, add vocals on top. The vocals often seem to be the focus on these songs, as one to all three women sing their own parts. It adds a more interesting, intriguing feel to the songs but can be a bit overpowering.
The opener, “Cross My Mind,” shows such promise for this band. A repetitive guitar riff over soft Casio keys give the song a kind of eerie urgency, and the vocals complement the song nicely. Much more simple, “Map it Out” and “No Sparks” are just vocals and acoustic guitars. The production on “Lone Star” makes the song sound intimate while echoed, as if all three were playing in a circle in the room with you. It’s a rich, lovely sound that emphasizes their vocal delivery, and on “Goodbye, For Real,” the multiple guitars – both electric and acoustic – get a bit more emphasis, allowing the vocals to blend better with the song. Even more angry and urgent, with lines like “this wasn’t your fucking time,” “1959” is kind of dark and soft.
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” isn’t a cover, but the up-tempo acoustic track starts off with the line from that classic pop track. These girls shouldn’t do acoustic punk, let me tell you, but they do show some similarities to Sleater-Kinney at least in attitude and delivery. Much more fleshed out with a mechanized beat and electric guitar and bass, “Are You Happy?” is the band’s best track, as it feels more like a full band than three powerful singers and their guitars. The same goes for the quirky, keyboard-led “Fuck It,” more playful sounding than the title would lead you to believe. Noticeably better in production, “Highway Robbery” sounds like some of Jen Wood’s acoustic recordings. And the album ends with a sound collage of a JFK speech and a Depeche Mode song. Weird.
This Olympia, Wash. band depends on the chemistry between the three women involved, and while they don’t harmonize, their vocals are powerful and emphatic, providing a stellar foundation for these songs. Not always the most original, they explode with emotion and sincerity. That goes a long ways, sometimes.