The Botticellis have an obsession with pop music, melodic songwriting and the cinematic sounds of yesteryear, but they’re not lost in some oldies Neverland. On Old Home Movies, out 5/13 on the Bay area label Antenna Farm, the quintet gives us ten luminous snapshots of sun-bleached memories. The vision is uniquely Californian, and while their music basks in the warmth of the Sunshine State personified by The Beach Boys, it’s also steeped in the shadows and queasy uncertainty of Raymond Chandler.
Old Home Movies is polished, orchestral, and surprisingly subtle, with a remarkably full and mature sound for such a young band. The classic, larger than life production is full of delicate flourishes; The Botticellis’ stylized sound echoes the production aesthetic of some of the great 70s pop records from Big Star, Chris Bell, and George Harrison. The band produced the album with the help of Anton Patzner (Bright Eyes) who played violin on “Who Are You Now,” Matt Cunitz, whose museum of vintage keyboards colors the music and Jason Quever (Papercuts), who played drums on “Flashlight” and helped capture the band’s balmy sound on analogue tape.
“Botticelli means ‘little barrel,’ a surf term Zack and I started using as kids for our favorite California wave,” lead vocalist Alexi Glickman explains. “When you’re inside a wave like that, you really understand the 60’s surf sound. I guess the feel of Old Home Movies is a bit of an homage to Greenough Vision.” The Botticellis began when Zack Ehrlich and Alexi Glickman met playing Suzuki violin duets in a southern California kindergarten class. They started writing songs together in grammar school and continued playing in bands together in high school and college. While studying music at UC Santa Cruz, they met lo-fi auteur, Burton Li, who helped produce an early album for the duo. Li soon joined the band and under the influence of his analogue obsessions, the three moved further up the California coast to San Francisco. Not long after, lyricist Blythe Foster and bass player Ian Nansen were pulled into the fold.
The ensemble now lives communally in San Francisco’s foggy Outer Richmond district, where they’ve been working on Old Home Movies for the past four years, refining their muzzy, slightly drugged out, psychedelic sound. The Botticellis’ debut promises to bring burnished, finely crafted pop to the people, filling the heads of their audience with vibrant memories and California day dreams.
2/16 Oakland, CA Mama Buzz (early all-ages show)
3/07 San Francisco, CA The Independent
3/13 – 3/15 Austin, TX SXSW
4/18 San Francisco, CA Cafe Du Nord w/ The Papercuts
Press materials – www.antennafarmrecords.com/press/botticellis.htm