Deleted Scenes are an art rock band from Washington, D.C. Beyond that tagline, they seem nearly impossible to categorize.
A four-piece known to tour extensively in a converted bread van, the group has been piecing together sounds for their sophomore record since their debut was released in 2009.
The result is an album that sounds appropriately layered: the dense compositions of Young People’s Church of the Air beg not to be pinned down, but patiently explored. The album’s title was taken from the a 1930’s radio church hymnal, signaling Deleted Scenes’ taste for levity even when the subject matter gets dark. As a result, it balances out the group’s experimental impulses with an uncanny knack for pop hooks. That means sorting through all the dense layers on every track—heavy percussion, lo-fi sheen, harp samples—which feels like a treat on the ears, rather than a chore.
Even when frontman Daniel Scheurman’s lyrics tackle tricky subject matters—see “What an Awesome Backhanded Compliment”—the concepts are phrased in accessible terms. Each song seems to travel somewhere distinct. “Future of Hair Metal” sounds like a dark, frantic disco hall, and the lead single “English as a Second Language” is so infectious you’d almost forget that it’s very sad.
Young People’s Church of the Air comes out on July 10 via Park the Van Records, but you can exclusively stream the entire record in the streaming player below.