It's almost impossible not to compare the Moore Brothers to Simon & Garfunkle, especially with the way both duos combine 1960s rock rhythms with sugar sweet folk and half-step jazz harmonies. When The Moore Brothers get especially breezy, their layered voices evoke choral soundtracks to old children's records, like "Little April Showers" in Bambi. That's not to say they reek of Disney blandness—on the contrary—but they do meander into fairytale soundscapes.
On Aptos, the California-based brothers use those layered "oohs" and "ahhs" to fatten up otherwise grounded folk pop, and the outcome is enchanting. "Little Blue" sounds like a dawn processional through the hills of an ancient countryside. "Heard About You" is sunny-day R & B. And the thunderstorm intro in "You and Me and Razor Dan" makes way for lyrics about a mystical character who literally carves his way through the world in an unpredictable manner.
Actually, there's a bit of Ween's deadpan in here, like in the line, "I was sure it was you, Buddha belly baby holdin' my breath. Misty morning train." But the Moore Brothers don't let on, whatever their intent. And for that, it's easy to embrace Aptos with complete sincerity, whether they're being ironic or not.
The Moore Brothers play the Palace Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9 PM with Cottonwood Draw and Secret Powers. $5.