Band of the Day

2011.11.04

Brown Recluse

A sunny downpour of gorgeously psychedelic pop
In someone's forgotten statue garden, I will find myself lost.
lyrics from Statue Garden

Brown Recluse are a psychedelic indie-pop band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The group was formed in 2006 by Timothy Meskers (vocals, guitar) and Mark Saddlemire (keyboards) and later incorporated Herbie Shellenberger (guitar, vocals), Dan Steinberg (bass), and Patrick Todd (drums). Their sound, often placed in the same sphere as Belle and Sebastian, is typified by ‘60s psychedelic elements, harmonized vocals, acoustic guitars and breezy pop hooks. Brown Recluse's first album the Black Sunday EP was released in 2006 on The Woodland Family Songbook record label. Signing to Slumberland Records, the Soft Skin EP was released in 2009. The group self released their first mini-LP Panoptic Mirror Maze as a free downloadable album in 2011, and their first full-length LP Evening Tapestry in March of that year.

One word of advice: after reading about today's band, Brown Recluse, do not do an online image search—or be prepared to parse through many images of nasty spider bites. They might share a name with the species of spider known for its venomous bite, but Brown Recluse are anything but frightening. Instead, the most spider-like quality of the Philadelphia-based quintet is their ability to lure you into their web of splendidly psychedelic pop. After releasing a string of EP's, and even a free mini-LP (Panoptic Mirror Maze) on their Bandcamp page, Brown Recluse's latest endeavor is the full-length LP Evening Tapestry—and it's one of the most memorable pop albums to come along in years. “Impressions of a City Morning” gently stirs you awake, inspired in equal parts by the psychedelic stylings of The Zombies, the gorgeous harmonies of The Beach Boys, and the intimate melodies of Belle & Sebastian. “Statue Garden” will have you imagining yourself stumbling into the 50s with its doo wop piano rhythm and Meskers' sweetly crooning lyrics like “in a moonlit statue garden covered by the cobwebs of time.” It's not a complete throwback however—there are enough slightly spacey keyboard sounds to keep at least one foot rooted firmly in the present. “Summer Showers” evokes all of the feelings the name implies—a warm downpour of organs, acoustic guitars, and slightly tropical percussion. Just like an actual summer shower comes as a welcome reprieve from a muggy day, this is one of those songs that will instantly refresh your music collection. Instantly catchy from the first few seconds, “Monday Moon” is one of the absolute highlights on the album. Which is no small feat, considering Evening Tapestry is one of those joyfully rare albums in which every single song is a gem. While a real brown recluse has a lifespan of just up to two years, Brown Recluse have put together a collection of music that will stand the test of time for years to come.