Inquiring Minds

Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter Drops The Ultimate AM Gold Playlist

If you have been missing Dallas's Polyphonic Spree, then 2012 could be your year. With new music in the offing -- including a Christmas record due in the fall -- the 21-member-strong Spree is gearing up to bring smiles to audiences again.

Leaders Tim DeLaughter and Julie Doyle formed the band nearly 12 years ago, ushering in a generation of large, majestic groups (including Arcade Fire) filling stages to capacity.

"The band was really inspired by the music I listened to as a small child in the '70s, mixed with experimentation of my previous group Tripping Daisy," says DeLaughter.

"You can hear it in the later Daisy records, the hint of Polyphonic Spree coming down the road."

As for the Spree's new non-Yule tunes, DeLaughter says it's going to get interesting, what with staying busy with side projects like Preteen Zenith.

"My musical palette is in a bit of a frenzy right now," he claims. "I'm playing with all sorts of genres these days. It's an homage, so to speak, to the years of listening and loving all the different types of music that inspired me at those times of my life.

"But all in all, The Polyphonic Spree's sound is what it is," adds DeLaughter. "It's our sound, and you'll know it's us when you hear it."

When one thinks of the Spree, it's hard to not think of some of the most expansive pop records of the '60s and '70s, influenced by Broadway, the Beach Boys and the Beatles. The Spree's three studio efforts, 2002's The Beginning Stages of..., 2004's Together We're Heavy, and 2007's The Fragile Army stuck out amongst other releases at the time that were still mired in Bush-era angst.

All the Spree wanted you to do was love one another, when everyone else was making out like it was 1969 and they needed to get their kicks in before the shithouse was about to go up in flames. Their choice of stage dress -- those white robes -- confused the emo and indie set who could only giggle and point, but all the while the band was releasing some of the most heartfelt albums of the decade.

Along with interviewing DeLaughter, I asked him to compile a playlist of his favorite vintage pop songs, the ones you may remember hearing coming from your parents' stereo, or at least helping soundtrack a few Hollywood coming-of-age pictures.

I loaded the end of the playlist with some choice Spree nuggets as well. Don't worry, they all are here. The Monkees, the Bee Gees, the Association, Bread, Cat Stevens, and even John Denver.

With New Fumes, 8 p.m. tonight at Fitzgerald's.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty