The Summer Wardrobe

the Summer Wardrobe (Rainbow Quartz)

SXSW Reviews

The Summer Wardrobe

(Rainbow Quartz)

The ghostly girl in the flower dress floating through the desert on the cover of the Summer Wardrobe's debut speaks volumes about what lurks within. Led by tone-centric Austin guitarist/vocalist Jon Sanchez and pedal steel ace John Leon, the twang-laden psych-pop quartet distinguishes itself with spacey yet meticulous arrangements and a remarkable corral of disparate reference points, including the Byrds, Galaxie 500, Ride, and Centro-matic. That said, it's the Wardrobe's solid ear for both pop hooks and extended mind-benders that enables them to be their own animal. Opener "Ned Kelly" ambles into consciousness with a big-sky jangle vaguely reminiscent of America's "Sister Golden Hair," while "Underground" rocks out with heady beer-light iridescence. At the spectrum's other end, "Outcry in the Barrio" is an evocative panoply of urban desolation and existential loneliness that clocks in at more than 10 minutes. This carefully nuanced navigation down the human highway makes the Summer Wardrobe an ideal companion for long drives out West. (Saturday, March 17, Latitude 30, 8pm)

***.5

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