Despite taking cues from some dour places–Joy Division and the Smiths come to mind–Crystal Stilts can be downright fun. Formed in 2003 by vocalist Brad Hargett and guitarist JB Townsend in 2003, the Brooklyn outfit has survived several hype cycles thanks to their subtle evolution over time. While their first few efforts were bathed in reverb and moody atmosphere, the Stilts have beefed up their sound and peeled away the curtain to highlight Hargett’s compelling baritone. Last year’s Nature Noir added some rockabilly swampiness to the mix and captured the band’s swirling live energy in full detail.
With a brand-new standalone single, Crystal Stilts once again provide a snapshot of a band in transition. Townsend says that “[‘Delirium Tremendous’] acts as a fulcrum from our last record,” equal parts psychedelia and punk rock. While hiccuping along on a stuttering beat, the song comes to a full stop for a bridge taken straight from the Beatles’ playbook. Light and dark, religious and profane, Crystal Stilts love to work both sides of the coin.