By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Yes, the band is called I Am the World Trade Center. Yes, it was called that before September 11. And no, its sound isn't gloomy in the slightest. This is sunny-day music, all the way.
The Athens, Georgia-based duo consists of composer Dan Geller (co-founder of Kindercore Records) and vocalist Amy Dykes; together they craft a kind of lo-fi techno that's more twee and chirping than that of your average electro act. Geller cooks up their breezy, bleepy tunes on his laptop -- imagine a more playful version of St. Etienne. On their second and most recent album, The Tight Connection (on Kindercore, of course), the pair set the mood early with the spry, lovely bliss-pop of "The Postcard." Also included among the disc's eleven cuts are capable covers of the Stone Roses' "Shoot You Down" and Blondie's "Call Me."
If IATWTC has a weakness, it may be Dykes' voice, which is as lean and powerless as a featherweight fighter. It's undeniably pretty, though, and the main source of the band's hooks. On a weekday night in gray late November, a sound that's colorful and pleasant might be just what the doctor ordered.