David Karsten Daniels evokes the swelling textures, converging choruses and elevating airiness of the Polyphonic Spree on his latest album. Eighteen musicians besides Daniels are credited for contributing, a third of them for vocals and another third for horns.
Those horns, combined with a wide variety of string instruments, supply the atmosphere that envelops Daniels’ songwriting. The songs themselves go slow but don’t meander; when they don’t progress they repeat, building intensity into something like a chant, almost all vocals and spare guitar providing the melody. But melody is less important than texture to this auditory analog of origami, in which the music seems to sport a single surface, all points connected on one plane and no tone discontinuous from its contemporaries.
Pensive only begins to describe the pace at which Sharp Teeth slinks along. For someone with the patience and stamina to digest heavy music delivered with the speed of an IV drip, there are rewards to be found: choice turns of phrase and sly horn lines that tip toward Dixieland, all puttering around in the back of a Mardi Gras float on a Mississippi country highway, burgeoning with people and surreally striking. (Jason Wiener)
David Karsten Daniels plays The Loft Monday, April 2, with Arbouretum, Scott Kennedy and Burke Jam. 10 PM. $5.