Washington DC stalwarts Deleted Scenes released their debut album Birdseed Shirt to Pitchfork’s rave reviews, calling it “ferocious, brave, and a well-balanced demonstration of both thoughtful existentialism and strange, drowsy downers”(Pitchfork, 8.0). Composed of Daniel Scheuerman (guitar, vocals), Matt Dowling (bass, keyboards), Dominic Campanaro (guitar, keyboards, samples), and Brian Hospital (drums), their sophomore LP Young People’s Church of the Air pushes the band’s formidable rhythm section further, exploring the possibility of hope.
Grabbing rhythmic feels from 80’s pop, R&B, surf rock, dark funk, and Go-Go, Young People’s Church of the Air reveals Deleted Scenes discovering a unique ground between pop and experimental impulses. Drummer Brian Hospital introduces the double-kick pedal to art rock with thoughtful drum arrangements. The lyrics find Daniel Scheuerman taking risks to explore themes of family, love, death, and joy in a self-devouring poetic style. The album’s production is fuzzy and warped, inspired by the cassette warble of Southeast Asian psych-pop and the detuned stew of Elliott Smith’s final album, From a Basement on the Hill.
The songs began as fruity loops-based jams in Scheuerman’s basement studio, which were then introduced into the band environment, taking on a live identity over the course of 300 tour dates. The album was finally recorded at the Garden Center in Hockessin, DE, with Nick Krill (The Spinto Band) and Birdseed Shirt producer L. Skell. It contains a mixture of studio sounds and home-recorded lo-fi noise. The album title comes from a 1930’s radio-church hymnal Scheuerman found in an old piano bench at the Garden Center, and evokes the elusive and sometimes illusory nature of hope. The first single from the album, indie club anthem “Bedbedbedbedbed“ showcases “the smart, sweeping pop of the Shins and the artful angst of the Talking Heads” (SPIN).
The band has shared the stage with Cursive, Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda, Black Kids, The Antlers, Medications, and Matt and Kim among others, and have performed at SXSW, CMJ, and Pop Montreal.