Holiday Shores New Masses for Squaw Peak

Nathan Pemberton is a precocious chap, the type of person you couldn't imagine doing anything else but making music. Mastering piano and guitar at an age when most kids are just discovering the radio, the North Floridian is billed as writer, producer, arranger, mixer and multi-instrumentalist on New Masses for Squaw Peak, the sophomore release from his quartet, Holiday Shores. Crafting that same precious, arrangement first style of chamber pop that made Sufjan Stevens and St. Vincent dorm room names, Holiday Shores manage to incorporate electronic loops and Juno synths into songs like "Airglow" and "Mystic Pharaohs (Masc. Pharaohs)" without sounding "electronic." Allowing the instrumentation to carry the warm, beach percussion-tinged "Ocotillo Dripping" and the mumbly-jumbly vocal/guitar duet "Injun," Holiday Shores seem to be, musically, working overtime on New Masses for Squaw Peak. With his current line-up, Pemberton is on his way to writing truly resourceful music that's free from the crutches of resource. (Twosyllable)