Kelley Stoltz has always hovered on the edge of fame, a name on the tip of your tongue, but never quite an indie staple. He's been the man behind the boards, a studio gun for hire or a guiding force to Sonny & The Sunsets, Thee Oh Sees and The Mantles. He's got a deep catalog that includes three albums for Sub Pop, but it seems he's always been relegated to the B team, a songwriter for the diehards and true believers. But thankfully, Third Man is working their best to raise his profile with Double Exposure. The San Francisco air comes crackling through the album and its easy to see him as contemporary to The Fresh & Onlys, Sonny and the rest of that motley collective holing up on the West Coast. The album is crisp, not laden with overt hooks, but written with a deeply ingrained sense of California pop running in its veins. He's got his toes in the garage but, just as with The Fresh & Onlys, takes that jumping off point to craft an album that's swimming through pop's deep waters like an accomplished pro. Stoltz may not crank releases out with the feverish bent of some of his hometown contemporaries, but when one lands, its definitely worth the wait.
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