Audio Mixers: Phil Manley; Kelley Stoltz; Kevin Ink.
Recording information: Electric Duck Studio, SF, CA.
Photographer: Kelley Stoltz.
Sixteen years on from his debut, Kelley Stoltz is still one of the titans of psych-infused indie pop, generating new material at a rate that's inspiring in terms of both quantity and quality. After the relatively straightforward approach of 2013's Double Exposure, Stoltz's 2015 follow-up, In Triangle Time, makes room for a bit more of his playful and eccentric side, but these songs reveal that Stoltz's way with a melody and a hook is as strong as ever, and his production and arrangement conceits add much more to the songs than they take away with their sonic twists and turns. The drifting clouds of vocals on "Star Cluster," the wavy tremolo guitar on "You're Not Ice" and "Wobbly," the vintage electronics on "Jona," and the multiple Brian Wilson-isms in "Crossed Mind Blues" are splendid examples of Stoltz's gift for finding the right settings for his songs, and though he's a splendid tunesmith, on In Triangle Time that's only half the story. Stoltz plays nearly all of the instruments and handles a similar amount of the vocals on In Triangle Time, and he's become a more gifted one-man band than he was on The Past Was Faster in 1999; if he's edging into high fidelity in the 21st century, this material sounds as if cheaper but cleaner technology has caught up with Stoltz and his vision, and these performances are never slick but simply listenable. Stoltz sounds happy, comfortable, and creative on In Triangle Time, and he's quietly making some of the best music of his career; in a better world, Stoltz wouldn't be a cult hero but a composer and producer with the audience he deserves, but In Triangle Time reminds us he's going to put his muse to good use regardless of the size of his following. A superb set of smart and literate pop music that nods to the past, present, and future, In Triangle Time is another great record from a man who knows how it's done. ~ Mark Deming