Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
Once upon a time, for all of us, everything was some form of amazement. A finger snapping, a kitty licking your small hand, a tide of ocean water sweeping onto the beach and tickling our toes were incredible thrills that would floor us and turn us into giggle boxes, shouting, "Again, again!" Rainstorms could invigorate us and caterpillars could keep us entertained for hours, whole days - the same could go for mud. This amazement also could have been brought about through a suspension of belief (a magic trick involving an ear and a greasy quarter) or the suspension of the gravitational pull (getting through as high into the air as one could ever think of going on pure muscle power alone). It could come in a song, in a phrasing of melodic components that made for something that struck us - our young ears - as magnetic, as odd and delightful. The Botticellis, from the Bay Area in California, is a band that brings about many of these same sorts of sensations - of cool sides of pillows, snowflakes and being up before dawn when the dew is still fresh and glistening on the blades of sleeping grass. They bring to mind a blizzard of wonderment that is steeped in time gone by and wonderment in time that's nowhere near approaching - all of the misty and incomplete sentences, the lines that are just a quarter of the way formulated, conjectured. They are the softest mittens, the subtlest crackling fires and the most pleasingly cool drafts all at once. They remind you - almost immediately - of a heated swimming pool and a sky that's yet to be completely painted in. It's as if at the start of the band's debut album Old Home Movies the speck of time prior to the first note of music is the last moment of complete whiteness. Alexi Glickman's voice rises from the outskirts of our angles and is suddenly jotting and whisking along with the sounds and embellishments of Burton Li, Zack Ehrlick, Ryan Browne and Blythe Foster. These are strong, but lukewarm concoctions that are friendly and light and will make lovers out of everyone. It's as if they've taken a blank canvas and found complete freedom to pick up any hue of blue, red, yellow and brown and just go wild with melting and burning, sensationalizing what wasn't anything of purpose just seconds earlier. These are spectacular dreams and merriments, even if they involve the lonely hunting of the heart on more than a few occasions. Glickman's agile and lilting way with his words is a real treat as he gives dimension to all of the emotional wandering that goes on in his stories. It's almost as if there are hints at a sort of Tuck Everlasting morality, where immortality is not all that desirable, and that there's reason to believe that there's a specific allotment of time given and its duration is beautiful if used appropriately enough. He sings that when we're gone, we're gone and there's no sorrow in the voice, just plain truth. He takes and the band takes this gentle and warm hand toward all of the cold and frigid cheekbones that the songs call for. They lay these hands against the reddened and chattering people they care about - or people from a distance, like all of their various listeners - and they offer a timid but welcome, "There, there friend. We'll be fine. Just look out the window. Isn't that quite the sunset? Aren't we really alright?"
The Botticellis Official Site
Antenna Farm Records