Music News

The Polyphonic Spree

Is the Polyphonic Spree a serious endeavor? Leader Tim DeLaughter's last name contains a hard-to-miss clue -- yet the silliness at the combo's core is its saving grace. Created by DeLaughter following the demise of his previous group, Tripping Daisy, the Spree is less a band than a super-sized choir whose members wear robes, harmonize ecstatically and otherwise act like time-traveling extras from one of those old "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" commercials. At the time of its debut, the outfit was widely viewed as an inspired one-shot, but The Beginning Stages Of..., a recording initially assembled as something of a lark, proved to have a longer-than-anticipated shelf life. Hollywood Records distributed the disc nationally in 2003, with Together We're Heavy, the Spree's sophomore release, following the next year. The vocalists are currently touring ahead of The Fragile Army, a forthcoming CD said to contain some political material -- a risky strategy given the collective's loopy concept. After all, if the Polyphonic Spree gets overly preachy, the laughter may stop, whether DeLaughter does or not.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts