Miracle Parade Hark and Other Lost Transmissions

Miracle Parade Hark and Other Lost Transmissions
Miracle Parade is the solo project of Everyday Visuals' Christopher Pappas. His debut, Hark and Other Lost Transmissions, produced by Rilo Kiley bassist Pierre De Reeder (Jenny and Johnny, M Ward, Death Cab for Cutie) suggests the obvious influence of bands such as America and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and, on a subtler level, '90s slacker rock marked by a faint hint of the quiet-loud-quiet aesthetic. It's an oddly compelling mash-up of '70s AM pop with country rock's twangy distortion layered over Brit-folk-inspired "oohs" and "aahs." Miracle Parade's brand of retro kitsch could have used more bite, although clearly it was Pappas's intention to keep it a mostly lo-fi affair. The record's soundscape is in no way unique, but its hooks cast a mean spell ("The Dying Physicist," for example, is irresistible) and his lyrics are genuine enough in their earnestness to demand consideration. Pappas leaves little room for apathy when in "Change of Heart" he asks, "Why are you so scared of my sad songs?" Was that a challenge? (Little Record Company)