[30 January 2011]
As long as its been a college town, New Paltz, New York, has always boasted a great local music scene, with bands like Breakfast in Furs, Los Doggies, Ratboy, and the Miles Brothers presently dominating the bar circuit on a weekly basis. But few acts in the little Ulster County hamlet of hip have enjoyed the national exposure of Gary Levitt’s electronically enhanced indie folk outfit Setting Sun. On the Queens native’s latest LP, Fantasurreal, Levitt utilized the quiet of his New Paltz abode to his advantage, delivering a shimmering, textured set whose layering of rhythm, melody, and harmony will immediately remind serious music fans of the production of Tom Rothrock on such ‘90s milestones as Beck’s Mellow Gold and Elliott Smith’s XO. The results, as heard on such songs as “Driving” and “Make You Feel”, are pure pop magic crafted by one of the burgeoning Upstate New York music scene’s most talented adopted sons.