BY: PAUL BURKE
Six months ago at their show at PhilaMOCA, I bought a Bread Pilot shirt that featured a sketch of a bird, with the words “What Do You Think That Bird?” written underneath. I had no idea what this poorly worded question meant at the time. Frankly, I thought it was a strange shirt, but what better way to support one of my favorite bands than to purchase and wear a goofy t-shirt? After the group’s new EP titled “What Do You Think That Bird?” was released last month, the shirt makes a lot more sense.
Bread Pilot is an indie rock outfit hailing from Southbury, Connecticut, comprised of Conor Boba, Steve Ibanez, Taylor Hayden, Nick Tornatore, and Evan House. “What Do You Think That Bird?” is the group’s third release since 2012, following up their self-titled 2015 EP. Last fall, Bread Pilot completed a 40 date full US tour, in which they hit Philadelphia twice.
The latest release features five incredibly sweet, melodic, and well produced tracks. The opening track, “Munkee,” starts with a smooth bass and drum pairing, and progresses with the help of some slick guitar leads and lightly distorted vocals. Around the song’s midpoint, a bit of crafty production work muffles all of the instruments, making them sound as if they are being played underwater. After about ten seconds, they build back into an outro guided by infectious “ooos” and “ahhs.”
The second track on the album, “Cily,” is a very calm, somber cut carried by acoustic guitar, cello, light drums, and a touch of piano. After four minutes, this beautifully arranged track floats right into the next. “Sleep Tight Scooby” follows, and is a more upbeat, guitar-heavy tune with reverb-soaked leads filling a wordless chorus. The track then breaks down into a more intimate setting, with very light guitars, drums, and pianos, and yet another elegant vocal performance.
Ambient noise bridges “Sleep Tight Scooby” into my favorite track on the EP, “Why I Lie.” The first verse features just acoustic guitar and lingering ambience, and is soon met by the rest of the band. The much fuller sound allows the track to build, while keeping a calmer vibe throughout. The first verse then repeats, with distorted backing vocals and a louder instrumental followed by yet another set of “ooos” and “ahhs.” After a split second pause, the track bursts into a deep, dense, explosive outro with a few other very well-synced pauses.
The EP comes to a close with “Spiderhand,” the longest song, clocking in at about five and a half minutes. Again we hear a very calm, soothing tune filled with light acoustic guitars and drums, a bit of piano, and gorgeous harmonies that we have come to expect from Bread Pilot at this point. Overall, this EP is extremely versatile and impressive. It manages to embody many elements of their past releases while also moving forward and experimenting with a more dense sound. The production is very clean and the performances are extremely tight, showing the true chemistry amongst the band members. Although the group has stated that their future is unclear at the moment, they are a band that is undoubtedly worth your time.
Listen to “What Do You Think That Bird?” and Bread Pilot’s past releases on their bandcamp page at https://breadpilotband.bandcamp.com/.