The Delays might well be the band to lead a movement away from the harsh and brash toward the pristine and melodious. Their sparkling pop hooks—gliding through deep atmospherics and soaring harmonies—might just be the antidote to garage growl, lighting the band as a perfect ratio of power pop, West Coast rock, and Brit pop. Greg Gilbert’s vocals, though more akin to Stevie Nicks than any obvious male singer, form the centerpiece around which a variety of jangling guitars and crystalline synth converge to color arrangements with sunburned melancholy, making them seem even more stylishly anguished than they would otherwise.
What the Delays are doing isn’t terribly mysterious. And the near-blinding studio polish of these tracks almost renders them too perfect, emphasizing craft over spontaneity and believably rough edges. Still, there are moments where an interesting amalgam of shoegazer shimmer and Byrds harmonies emerge. Even if they’re somewhat out of step with the great majority of their contemporaries, the timeless grace of these melodies will translate to any era.