Brooklyn-based experimental pop outfit Conveyor bands together the talents of four Floridian graduates: frontman TJ Masters, drummer Evan Garfield, guitarist Alan Busch and bassist Michael Pedron. The group originally began as an electronic partnership in Gainesville. However, as fate would seemingly have it, the four each landed in New York by coincidence. They joined forces after reuniting at a party in the city, and a jam session later, Conveyor was born. Soon after, the newly formed band released their debut Sun Ray EP in April 2011, introducing their synth-y, dreamy harmonies to the scene. Fast-forward to July 2012, and the band released its self-titled debut LP through Paper Garden Records. The band took the national music scene by storm, having performed from coast to coast since February 2011.
Over the past half decade, Brooklyn, NY has developed quite the brand for itself. Teeming with musicians, that hippest of boroughs is often associated with cerebral, cutting edge, and somewhat dark music. Brooklyn indie pop four-piece Conveyor has got the first two down, but seem to have missed the memo on being gloomy/enigmatic. Their music is packed with ideas, cramming skittering beats and dueling stringed instruments together with merry vocal harmonies.
Their self-titled album recently released on indie label Paper Garden Records may not be a summer album exactly, but with it's bright optimism it definitely feels like a sunshine album. Most of the band's press mentions Animal Collective, and it's pretty clear Conveyor is highly influenced by that band, especially their mid-2000s output. Conveyor seems to have absorbed Animal Collective's free-wheeling experimentalism and tribal, ADD vocal style. But Conveyor have absolutely gone their own route with the sound, often sounding like eccentric camp counselors with lots of instrumental chops and time on their hands.
Though under two minutes long, “Two Davids” is a good distillation of Conveyor's sound. Beginning with acoustic guitar that twinkles and stutters dreamily, the instrumentation quickly gets sunny and joyful as the band dives into rhythmic oohs and aahhhs. “Woolgather” is similarly nice-guy-manic, riding a rollicking drum beat and radiant acoustic guitar strums. It's also one of the strongest vocal performances on an album with a lot of great vocals. Mixing yelps, jovial lead vocals and various energetic instrumentation, it feels like a multi-colored hailstorm of indie pop.
Other moments are considerably less bustling, seeing Conveyor exercise their subtle side and love of orchestration. “Mukraker” focuses on softly unfolding melodies: hushed vocals that burst into Beach Boys-style astral melodies, plinking piano, a horn section.
Conveyor is teeming with sound, but manages to not feel crowded. At the end of the day, the album is a joyful listen throughout, and pulling that off is no easy feat.