The Minor White - Daily Vacation
Record Label: Prairiequeen Records
Release Date: August 7, 2007
Scranton, Pennsylvania’s The Minor White create a colorful montage of chamber pop and rock elements with plush theatrical frills, refined acoustic sensibilities, and charming carnival-clad tones on their latest release Daily Vacation. The six track album produced by Nick Krill (Spinto Band) and recorded and mixed by The Minor White, delivers a melodic combination of rock guitars and rhythms with arias of mandolin, accordion, whistles, piano, violin, saxophone, and trumpet. The music is intricately raveled similarly to Nurses and fashioned from melodic hoops sustaining a soft-pop modulation relatable to The New Amsterdams.
The Minor White’s music jumps over fences erected by impressions of what pop/rock music should sound like, while producing music that is undeniably modern. They push pop/rock’s barriers to include melodic mixtures that haul in chamber music instrumentation without ever sounding like a high school marching band. Rather, the songs from Daily Vacation have a resemblance to carnival minstrels and music played for stage performances like the Cirque du Soleil productions with reflections of The Beatles imaginary world of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Daily Vacation is very much for anyone with an open imagination.
The album starts off with a saloon style piano melody for “A Change in Season” with percussive shakers and little intricacies that make the tune vibrant and colorful. The carousel ride drumming and carnival like keyboards and guitars of “The Ditty” have a jolly gait with vocal harmonies that enhance the feel good vibes. The airy vocal register and folk-pop hues of "Static Redbeard" are coated in soft violin silhouettes and gentle guitar textures with a relaxing momentum. The tempo shifts of “Moonrag” slow down and build up periodically. The instruments are tenderly poised as the vocals levitate above the melodic swathe of low-registered horns and accordion keys at the bottom. The title track has chorus line drum kicks and bright billowing horns and keyboards intercepted by waves of wild guitar distortions, which have a theatrical quality like music for stage shows. The soft melodic pop melody of “So, Oklahoma” has languid acoustics and a light vocal pitch that snuggles with the flowering string arrangements. The song fades into delicate pearls of lacing whistles played by lead vocalist Roy Williams.
The members of The Minor White are quite an assortment of musicians with frontman Roy Williams additionally playing piano, guitar, mandolin, and bass, Kyle Wall on guitar and keyboards, Shane O’Hara on drums, and Kevin Williams on keyboards, accordion, and backup vocals. Their music is modern sounding using classical and contemporary instruments and an imagination that knows no boundaries. They bust open the doors for pop/rock musicians to aim for something more, and they truly deliver it on Daily Vacation.