[25 March 2010]
Nitetime Rainbows—a companion EP to last year’s excellent Ashes Grammar LP—is a victory lap for the Philly dream-pop sextet. Since the release of Ashes Grammar, the band’s profile has gradually risen through a combination of year-end praise, extensive touring and glowing word of mouth. In my review Ashes Grammar , I was a bit premature in my judgment of the album as it turned out to be a textbook grower and one of my favorite albums of 2009. Being an EP, Nitetime Rainbows is, naturally, a more digestible chunk of music and an easy one to love at that.
The EP’s title track is a new mix of the Ashes Grammar’s standout. It’s accompanied by three new songs and three remixes of “Nitetime Rainbows”. Each of the remixes is enjoyable in its own way, but they’re ultimately forgettable. Let’s be honest: an essential remix is an honest-to-god rarity. Fortunately, the three new tracks are all keepers. Filled with flare gun guitar, “Daytime Rainbows” is the bright, molten flipside to the title track. “Piano Lessons” is exactly that: a composition ASDIG leader Ben Daniels pieced together while teaching himself how to play the piano. The resulting song is much better than that description makes it sound. Best of all is the EP’s radiant pop center, “So Bloody, So Tight”. Questionable song title aside, it’s easily one of the band’s finest moments to date and, hopefully, a taste of things to come.