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Joy Zipper

Ah, what a little LSD can do. That's one of the guiding forces behind Joy Zipper's warm, fuzzy, idiosyncratic electro-pop. Yeah, you read the word "LSD" and started thinking this band probably sounded like the Dead or the Doors. The truth, though, kids, is that acid plays around with what you've already got upstairs -- it doesn't turn everyone into a pinwheel-eyed tripped-out hippie. In the case of Joy Zipper's Vinny Cafiso, the drug helped him fight depression. It also played a major role in inspiring his feathery, endearingly bizarre songwriting. Together, Cafiso and his wife Tabitha Tindale turn that songwriting into a chimerical, candy-colored brew that quietly interweaves synths and electronics, rock instrumentation, quirky effects, and samples. That's not mentioning the duo's oddly beautiful voices -- his inflected with a fragile sweetness, hers cool, delicate, and whispery -- which produce unexpectedly poignant harmonies. The musical influences at play here are manifold and many: The Beatles and Beach Boys, Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips, Spiritualized and My Bloody Valentine. But Joy Zipper has an entirely unique manner. There's a comfortably dazed warmth, a sticky sweetness, a restrained, almost dignified, goofiness to their songs. Maybe it's something in the Long Island water (yes, they really are from the big parking lot by the Atlantic, though to listen to them, you'd swear they were from Austin or Athens or some such Southern hamlet). More likely it's the unique whimsical intimacy of the couple's real life relationship that informs their uniquely whimsical, intimate musical style.

Cafiso and Tindale spent close to two years shaping their self-titled LP, which came out on Bar/None Records in 2000, and which features the single "Check Out My New Jesus."