Heron & Crane’s Firesides is a collection of dreamlike keyboard-driven psych-pop tunes that feel charmingly homemade and also instantly familiar.
The Charlottesville, VA duo of Dave Gibson and Travis Kokas commandeered vintage synths to create catchy lo-fi soundscapes that feel like warm but faded memories of summers past.
The aptly-named “Surf Trials,” invokes ’80s beach scenes and local access TV commercials pulled from old wobbly VHS tapes. Meanwhile, the closing track, “The Plunge,” sounds like a lost Pet Sounds demo that’s been given overdubs by Will Cullen Hart, Robert Pollard and Robert Schneider. It’s a breezy, sunshine-pop tune that is speckled with baroque harmonies and mellow psychedelia.
What this record truly excels in is showing off the group’s vast virtuosity. Some tracks lean heavily into light prog territories, like the Alan Parsons Project-esque “Cave Cricket Crossing,” while others, such as the Black Moth Super Rainbow-like “Companions of Fish and Turtles,” dive deeper into syrupy synth and acoustic miasmas.
Even long after summer is gone, you can slap on Firesides and relive the warmth of the sun over and over again.
You can preorder it on vinyl ahead of its September 27th release date right here.