Lit By Your Phone has the motion and some of the replica imagery of our drive-thru nation. Sam Shepard and Wim Wenders would be proud. T. Griffin’s textured rasp and whisper and Catherine McCrae’s plaintive murmur provide vocal contrast while matching the scant lyrics. Both voices also convey a distance that lends a moody conviction to these observations of modern life: a life observed with detachment through windscreen, computer monitor, and TV. The Quavers seem enamored of Calexico (on “Devil’s Shoes”) and Black Heart Procession (on “The Hole in Me”), and at their best they can create a mood similar to Interpol covered by Simon & Garfunkel. There are times, as on “God Made Cars”, when the rush from sublime trance-inducing harmony to thudding percussion seems indecently swift. “Montana” recovers from the dreadful opening line “God made Montana an adult-size portion” with the aid of gentle strumming and some of McCrae’s violin work. The tremendous “Dashboard” contains a line about “a river of brake-lights”, is rhythmically similar to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” and is scantily adorned with blips akin to Steve Reich’s GPS if its battery was giving out. Another highlight, “Fireflies”, does the Interpol plod again and cranks up the drone courtesy of McCrae playing violin through “metal zone and space echo”. Repeat listens indicate that Lit By Your Phone is more than stylized God-sausage (cramming an honest skin with clumsy spirituality) and I hope The Quavers can build on this promising record.
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// Notes from the Road
"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.READ the article