// guitar & backing vocals
// keys & lead vocals
Indie pop of a certain brand—the post-emo, melodic stuff, the stuff with sweet riffs and uplifting, singalong choruses—would seem to be the province of the young and yearning. So what becomes of its proponents when they find themselves thirtysomething and married? Do they give up and pack it in? Or worse: grow jaded and turn in their amps and keyboards for an acoustic and some minor chords?
LoFi Delphi would say it’s not game over just yet, and they present as evidence “Tilt,” a five-song EP the band will self-release Dec. 1.
Formed in 2014 by the wife-and-husband team of keyboardist and singer Becki Gallagher and bassist Andrew Belsick along with drummer Tyler Jessup, the four-piece has grown into a regular presence on the scene in Pittsburgh, making a regular circuit of the city’s small and mid-sized rooms and festivals and garnering attention from AAA radio station WYEP. With the addition of guitarist Andrew MacDonald and with a few years and a few past bands under their belt, the band has grown comfortable in its role as a steady producer of hooky, honest pop songs.
“Tilt” is LoFi Delphi’s third EP: The band debuted with “Victor” in 2014, then followed up in 2016 with six more tunes packaged as “Always the Quiet Ones.” The former had the hallmarks of a band getting to know itself; the latter, more hard-edged and a bit darker. “Tilt” brings it all together: the punchy, often exuberant pop that’s always been the band’s quarry, and the polish and complexity that the group has developed with time.
Each member of the band participates in songwriting, and what goes into LoFi Delphi is classic stuff. Bands with a strong ear for rock hooks are largely those the band cites as influences: Foo Fighters, Muse, of course The Beatles. What comes out is often in the sweet spot between the early emo of Rainer Maria and the more contemporary rock vibe of Metric, with undertones of ’80 new wave like New Order and Depeche Mode.
“Tilt” is windows-down music; it’s sing-along-in-the-car music, and it’s not-too-cool-to-feel-it music. Gallagher weaves stories between the hooks; lyrically, the songs carry narratives and imagery. They’re buoyant, but not empty.
The EP’s title track reads as an extended pinball metaphor, and ultimately, perhaps pinball is an extended metaphor for LoFi Delphi. Pinball is a game of skill, an old-school dose of serious fun. It’s an analog pleasure in a digital landscape. And just when it’s starting to look like time is running out, a skilled player can bank on earning a replay—and keep the game alive.