Quarterbacks got their start in the New Paltz scene, building a name for themselves on sickly sweet and wry love songs that never travel over two minutes in length. Home recordings of these tracks were put out by songwriter and vocalist Dean Engle on a series of tape releases for Double Double Whammy, including the marvelous Quarterboy, one of my favorite releases of the past year and what comes pretty close to serving as a definitive testament to the lo-fi pop charms of the group. They’ve just announced their first full-band effort: a self-titled full-length that squeezes 19 songs into just over twenty minutes, and includes rerecorded versions of tracks from their past releases, including highlights like “Sportscenter,” “Pool,” and the effortlessly charismatic “Center.” Their new amped-up sound gives “Center” a razor-sharp edge, and make the anxiety that permeates the song more prominent. The lyrics are deeply personal and poignant — take the second verse, for example: “I had waited two years to talk to you/ helped you move into your new house/ left hand prints in the closet before we moved you out/ Looking up at that room now, still half hoping that you’ll come down.” And then there’s that killer last line: “I recognize that love is mostly situational,” which carries so much pathos that it physically hurts. Engle’s mellow vocals lead the song along with a gentle hand, and he sounds really great backed by more robust instrumentation. It’s really magical to hear the band come together in such a strong way, and you can listen below.
(via The Fader)
Quarterbacks self-titled debut is out 2/10 on Team Love.