Time Capsules II 3/5 We do love a musician with vision, and Brad Oberhofer is certainly keen to elevate his work beyond that of your average indie-pop quartet. As a live proposition, he sounds like a teenager carelessly careening between the all-consuming highs of infatuation and the sticky, self-indulgent clutches of rejection. Often the 21-year-old’s lyrics express the force of his emotions in the simplest of terms.
But with the help of producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Morrissey), this NYU music theory dropout offsets his jittery guitar and (occasionally overly enthusiastic) puppy-love vocals with glockenspiel twinkles and intricate orchestrations.
On the top-down, surf-pop of ‘Cruising FDR’ he sings like a baby Beach Boy while namechecking Mahler, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, but the marriage isn’t always a happy one: ‘oOoO’ descends into a clattering cacophony, a fight between pummeled crash symbols and caterwauling strings. Still, there’s something appealing in Oberhofer’s naïve wonder (for women) as he strives to unify his guitar-toting tunes and contemporary classical ambitions.