Remember Bela Karoli, the band fronted by Julie Davis? Yeah, it seems like a bazillion years since we've heard anything from that act -- and for good reason. Davis has been busy touring the globe with Nathaniel Rateliff and tending to her other groups, Fairchildren and Miss America. Now she's returned with the Seven Hats, an outfit that's much closer to the music of Bela Karoli.
The Seven Hats, whose name is a nod to the 60's-era ad campaign of Borg-Warner, is a slow-moving effort that centers on somber, vintage synths (a "1960s Wurlitzer electronic piano, half-working Roland Juno 106 synthesizer and nearly broken Farfisa VIP 370 organ," according to Davis) that pulse, moan and drone like tides against semi-disembodied, minimalistic rhythms, subtle guitar flourishes and Davis's reverb-drenched vocals.
Recorded at Grey Gardens and mixed and mastered by Randall Frazier of the Orbit Service at Helmet Room Recordings, Scientific American features five barren, affecting post-modern renditions of tunes like "Where or When," by Rodgers and Hart, and "Over the Rainbow," by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg -- the types of tunes that could easily find a home in a movie like Mullholand Drive.
The act, which also features Joe Pope (Born In the Flood, Nathaniel Rateliff, Fairchildren, Miss America), is slated to release Scientific American at the hi-dive on Friday, May 24, in the company of Land Lines and Esme Patterson.