The Marshmallow Coast
Andrew Gonzales, the brains behind Marshmallow Coast, is into the lighter side of pop. He's a reflective, crooning, romantic, coasting through Tin Pan Alley on a tandem bicycle with Kevin Barnes. The Of Montreal comparison is unavoidable. Gonzales, who used to sit in with the Music Tapes, performs with Of Montreal, and the two groups spent some time touring together this Summer (so many bands in e-6, so few people to staff them = the same few people under a heap of different monikers). But, oddly enough, Marshmallow Coast doesn't really come off sounding too much like Of Montreal. Unless that be a Valium drenched, island version of the latter. So, besides having more traditional instrumentation and song structures, Marshmallow Coast is not as likely to wax heavily on the kooked-out twee themes. Folks that Gonzales cites as influences for Marshmallow Coasting include underground luminaries Os Mutantes, Robert Wyatt, Billy Nichols, and (as if this wasn't understood) Brian Wilson. Maybe unintentionally, this record has a very Harry Nilsson feel to it, as well. There are no real frantic moments on Coasting. So when borrowing from legends, or reinterpreting them, Gonzales always weighs in on the sedate side. Sometimes, as on "Bizarre Classical VI," it becomes music to nap to. The quiet, sleepy theme works well for Marshmallow. Songs such as "Hung-Up," "Oblong Destiny," "Siddartha," and "Loneliest Heart in Texas" exhibit Gonzales's tour de force song writing skills. This record is a sleepy little treasure. Rest assured that it will bring joy to your tired afternoons.
Kindercore Records, P.O. Box 461, Athens, GA 30603; http://www.kindercore.com