The Spinto Band will share tunes from their sparkly new album in their debut at the Arden Gild Hall on Saturday, playing the bill with Philadelphia's Buried Beds.
"Cool Cocoon," released in February, is the follow-up to The Spinto Band's previous LP, "Shy Pursuit," which only dropped nine months ago. The Spintos, who'll perform at Firefly Music Festival 2013 in June in Dover, were initially drawn to their new project's title because of its visual properties, since both words are mostly made with the letters "C" and "O," said bassist and singer Thomas Hughes, 30, of Wilmington.
But the title eventually became symbolic of the new and exciting, yet sometimes scary, place where the Wilmington-based band found themselves while recording the album. From inside this silky envelope The Spintos built a divine record that feels like a sibling to the former one, yet with a heavier pop personality and more introspection.
"It's definitely a sister album of 'Shy Pursuit,'" said Hughes, who recorded both projects with his brethren in their secret Hockessin studio (known as "The Garden Center"). While both albums maintain the band's signature style of layering melancholy lyrics over contagious ornamental-pop melodies, "Cool Cocoon" accomplishes this with smaller soundscapes and a softer sound.
"'Shy Pursuit' felt like we were trying to make this really dynamic, impressive recording. Sometimes 'Cool Cocoon' has moments like that, but it also has really quiet moments," Hughes explained.
Spacious room in the 'Cocoon'
Despite being mummy-wrapped together, the five Spintos didn't experience any claustrophobia in the cocoon. On the contrary, unlike their previous projects, the crew took the liberty of recording a portion of their new songs without having demo tracks to reference. "Static" is one of those tunes and The Spintos' experience recording it is comparable to the others they produced without demos.
"It was nice and it was definitely looser. But also in a way it was a little scarier," Hughes said. "The arrangements are guiding the process and you don't know where it's going. [But] it's very rewarding when that process has brought you out to a place where you may have never arrived."
Page 2 of 2 - "Cool Cocoon" also sees The Spintos using experimentation from their early basement-recording days in the mid-'90s when they tinkered with creating effects from cassette tapes. As heard on their debut single "Shake It Off," the song quickly falls from buoyant piano pop into a murky sea of cassette tape warble.
The breezy "Static" also features tape manipulation. The tune has marimba sounds that were recorded on tape. Then the tape was played back and the marimba was sped up and slowed down to create an effect that "sounds like the ghost of a marimba player haunting the track," Hughes said.
Gloom in the 'Cocoon'
The Spintos offer a fair share of introspective tunes on the album and evidence of this is certainly present in the pristine pop tune "Amy + Jen," a track sung by Hughes about two teenage girls who are enthused about a new band they started, but they quickly lose interest in it.
"A big fear of mine is starting a project I won't finish," Hughes said. "That's what the song is about: these two girls start a band and don't finish."
Then there's the upbeat and self-explanatory "She Don't Want Me" sung by Krill.
In the end, a subtle spirit of somberness hangs over "Cool Cocoon." But this gloom has less to do with the nature of their new songs and more to do with the future of The Spintos' precious cocoon.
"Our studio is going to be demolished later this year because our landlord is going to start building houses there," Hughes sadly explained. "So maybe there's something in the air about this being the last time we'll be able to [record there]."
IF YOU GO
WHAT The Spinto Band and Buried Bed in concert
WHEN 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6
WHERE Arden Gild Hall, 2126 The Highway
COST $10 members; $12 non-members
INFO ardenconcerts.com or 475-3126