The Da Vincis

The Da Vincis

The Da Vincis

See You Tonight

Olympic Records

No one likes the snobby rich kid who’s clever as fuck and knows it. Think Reggie from Archie Comics. And yet, if Reggie had made music as worldly and sophistico-pop-savvy as the Da Vincis, I’d be willing to let the world be the target of his haughty glances. At an age when, by all rights, the trio of young guns that make up the Da Vincis (high school seniors to the lad) should be bashing out power chords in a two-car garage, or haphazardly splicing together white noise loops with a detuned banjo as a tribute to their idol, Animal Collective, the Da Vincis are brewing up a blend of the Smiths, Burt Bacharach, bossa nova, blue beat and a touch of the Beatles without breaking a sweat on brows free of worry lines.

What I love most about the Da Vincis is that they sound so fucking wonderfully effete and self-possessed and secure in their pretentious soundworlds that they make the patrician Vampire Weekend come off like Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Their whole stance is a throwback to the likes of Morrissey, Felt, the Pastels, the STYLE FUCKING COUNCIL — snobby oddballs who shut themselves away to create their own reality. Sure the album has faults, but guess fucking what? They’re like seventeen, so they have time to figure it out and fix what doesn’t work. Instead of chaining themselves to guitars, the Da Vincis employ more exotic fare — melodica, organ, piano, xylophone, accordion, echo chambers, toy Casios — to elbow aside the usual power trio weapons-of-choice for breezy, self-assured but despairing pop nuggets. One of the vocalists manages to out-Morrissey Morrissey in terms of vocal affectation, magnificently tuneless and poised. When he coos, “You’re so young,” and invites the object of his affection to drink some lattes, you’re just like, “Come on, man!” And the lyrics about Facebook requests? But they turn awkward gambits like that to their advantage. So continental, so smooth. And am I crazy or is there more than a hint of psych-freakout in their skewed arrangements?

Olympic Records:

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