The four dudes in Echo Courts must have rad record collections. The Greensboro rock band's second album, Room with a View, is loaded with three-part vocal harmonies à la the Beach Boys and trippy studio effects that would have done the late George Martin proud.
The band's 2016 debut album, In the Garden, followed the tradition of lo-fi, British-sounding rock drenched with a hundred-gallon drum of reverb. But since then, Echo Courts have slimmed down from six members to four and, perhaps as a result, sound tighter and less washed out. Room with a View kicks off with a mostly instrumental song ("I Don't Mind"), allowing each band member to flex their noise-making muscles before diving into more traditionally formatted pop songs.
Kelly Fahey and Luc Swift trade off on everything from guitar leads to lead vocals, and they blend together so well it's difficult to distinguish who's who. The overall package is something related to sixties surf, though that fails to fully account for the sprawl of sounds on Room with a View. It's summertime music that's both busy and chill, like zoning out in the backseat of a cruising convertible.
All of the jangly guitars and fuzz boxes lend a loose, cool aesthetic, even if the music itself is executed precisely. For example, on single "Take Away," a warbly guitar follows the melody of the vocal hook note for note; anything short of spot-on would sound messy, but Echo Courts pull it off smoothly. The guitar sounds are impeccable throughout this record's ten tracks, from the crystal-clear chimes of "Strawberry Pie" to the bluesy bends of "Daisies # 4." —Howard Hardee
Echo Courts play a release show for Room with a View at Kings on Wednesday, August 15. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $5–$7.