I’ve been looking for a new religion, something to follow, something uplifting. Now, I’m not talking about Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. I’m just looking for something that I can follow, like you follow a band. I have found my new ‘religious leader.’ His name is Tim DeLaughter and he created the Polyphonic Spree.Tim began his career as the leader of the drugged-out psychedelic rock band Tripping Daisy that challenged the music industry. After the passing of their guitarist, Tripping Daisy broke up and DeLaughter decided to make a new product. He asked people to come to his house and jam. He wanted to create a sound that was as big as an orchestra and as poppy as a Beach Boys record. These sessions were put onto tape and were released in 2001 as “The Beginning Stages of the Polyphonic Spree.” Those ten tracks changed my life. Music has never been the same since that record.
“The Beginning Stages” has seen two different releases since my handmade copy was first released. As the band grew, they toured more and gained more and more fans. Finally, this summer they released their second album to rave reviews and to the joy of their fans. “Together We Are Heavy” is more than an album; it is a journey.
You begin with a slight drone for a few seconds as “A Long Day Continued / We Sound Amazed” begins. Then the song crashes to a beginning as the guitar and horns blow you away. A quiet piano line follows the explosion, and this is all before the vocals begin. The songs range from huge blasts of sonic bliss to sweet melodies hushed over piano and a female choir. That’s right, the Polyphonic Spree is 24 members strong and growing.
I wish I could put into words how much I love this album. I wish I could share with you how much this album has changed me as a person. The lyrics of the first album were simple little lines that seem based in mantras and chants but this album creates actual lyrics.
I can’t say I like the change, but with lines like, “What would you do, what would you say, if it all came up to you and love had a new place to play,” you still get a lovely uplifting idea. And before I go on I can’t help but mention my favorite lyric from “We Sound Amazed”: “Take the time to find the world another way / I wanna be more than yesterday and / somehow find a way to this new religion / If the world could compromise another faith / I want to be more than yesterday / and somehow find a way to your new religion.”
Now, some find these lines cheesy; some find the music over the top. They can go ahead and think that. In the meantime I will be enjoying this album, loving this album, and cherishing its beauty.