Montreal-based duo Vesuvio Solo is comprised of Cameron Maclean and former TOPS bassist Thom Gillies, who produce a wonderful sound steeped in jangly guitars and soft synth flourishes. The result is somewhere between the sophisti-pop brilliance of Prefab Sprout and the stylishly nonchalant rock of Gillies’ former band, TOPS. Like TOPS and Ariel Pink, Vesuvio Solo ride on an enjoyable ’80s college-rock reverence that balances fresh accessibility with revered nostalgia, which is also boosted by psych-friendly production flourishes. Vesuvio Solo’s upcoming full-length debut, Favors, is out October 15th, and features efforts like the brilliant “Avion”. Bouncy synths, crystallized guitars, and effervescent organs swell over emotive vocals on the track, which transitions into a phenomenal chorus that features a touch of female call-and-response vocals, a la Prefab Sprout. Fit for lush night-driving, “Avion” is a fantastic effort that makes me very excited for Favors on its own.
Another preview of the album includes track “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, a funk-tinged gem that incorporates various facets of synth-pop (both the ’80s varieties and recent Hot Chip-like mold) with quick-fleeting veins of guitar-pop. Gotta love the guitar solo at 02:40, too, whose melody is enjoyably reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” at points. So far, everything released from this duo sounds great.