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The Contrail

This Santa Clara, California group's somewhat unusual name actually works as a fitting metaphor for their melodic lo-fi indie pop. A "contrail" -- or "condensation trail" -- is that streak of water vapor a plane leaves behind it on its way across the sky. It's an oddly lovely man-made scar on nature's beauty. Now, please bear with this analogy. The Contrail's feedbacky, tinny, bedroom production similarly mars its songs' beautiful melodies, and the result is something similarly appealing: a muddy blur of sound with a thin, wistful voice skating across the top. Fans of Guided by Voices' trebly quirk-pop or Of Montreal' psych-pop odes to the broken heart should respond especially strongly to this, but if you have a beating heart and a funny bone or two, you're sure to like The Contrail.
?The band, whose primary member is singer/songwriter Erin Czech, has three releases to date: 2000's Correspondence School, 1999's "Don't Derail" seven- inch, and 1999's Irreducible Varieties and Prime Ideals (featuring original versions of many of the songs on Correspondence School). All three are on Turn Records. The featured songs -- the soaring lo-fi anthem "Prime Ideals" and the hard-rocking feedback-heavy "Queen of Diligence" -- both come from Correspondence School.

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