Polyphonic Spree's New Stages - Rolling Stone
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Polyphonic Spree’s New Stages

Vocal pop ensemble finishes recording second album

“It’s sunny here,” Polyphonic Spree mainman Tim DeLaughter says
from his home in Dallas, “which is exactly the way I like it.”
DeLaughter was talking about the un-wintery weather, but the
statement could easily apply to the glowing music created by his
twenty-four-person choral pop ensemble, which has wrapped its
second album, with plans to mix it next month, with a release later
this year.

The new album is, in a way, the Polyphonic Spree’s first real
musical statement. The group recorded The Beginning Stages of .
. . the Polyphonic Spree
as a demo, releasing it independently
on a whim last year with few expectations. The record has cleared
15,000 copies, SoundScan chump change, but a strong figure for a
recording that generated its buzz without any financial support.
“While we were making it, we had no idea it was gonna become what
it has become,” says DeLaughter, who formed the robe-clad group as
a positive outlet after his former band, Tripping Daisy, split
after the drug-related death of guitarist Wes Berggren. “We did it
in three days, pretty much non-stop. It was a brutal schedule, and
we had no idea that’s what we were making.”

This time out the Spree visited the studio with a more
thoroughly developed recording plan and more money at their
disposal. “Sonically it’s the best thing I’ve ever been a part of,”
DeLaughter says. “It’s pretty much hair-raising and it’s a really
wonderful representation of the Polyphonic Spree two and a half
years later. It sounds more like an opera to me. There’s a story
and theme that’s cohesive through the whole record, a lot of hope
and aspirations of reaching more and making it through. It’s a very
spirited record.”

Having only previously played in Texas, New York and Los
Angeles, DeLaughter and Co. are also donning the robes for their
first full U.S. tour this spring, followed by the European festival
circuit in the fall. DeLaughter is entertaining label offers for
the band, but as yet has not committed to one. Another possible
hang-up for the new record would be the possible re-release of
The Beginning Stages with a more rigorous promotional
push.

DeLaughter isn’t irked by issues of time though (“To be quite
honest, I’ve been through this before and I’m taking my time”), and
he is enjoy basking in the musical glow created by the band, the
embodiment of a sound he’d heard years before. “It was kind of a
self-indulgent move, because it was strictly for me,” he says. “But
the vision has constantly been evolving by this many people meeting
musically. It’s just getting better all the time. Is that a
lyric?”

Polyphonic Spree tour dates:

4/11: Chicago, The Metro
4/12: Minneapolis, Quest
4/14: Boulder, CO, Fox Theater
4/17: Vancouver, Richard’s
4/18-19: Seattle, Graceland
4/21: Portland, OR, Aladdin Theater
4/23: Eugene, OR, Wow Hall
4/24: San Francisco, Great American Music Hall
4/25: San Francisco, Amoeba Records
4/25: San Francisco, Slim’s
4/27: Indio, CA, Coachella Festival
5/14: Manchester, TN, Bonnaroo Festival

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