LoFi Delphi releases Tilt at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls on Dec. 1 | Pittsburgh City Paper

LoFi Delphi releases Tilt at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls on Dec. 1

“We wanted something really poppy, really bright, really melodic.”

LoFi Delphi releases Tilt at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls on Dec. 1
Photo by Joe Pucciarelli of Loop Photography
LoFi Delphi

On its third release, LoFi Delphi worked closely with J Vega, who runs Wilderness Studios, where the band recorded its new EP, TILT. Vega became something of a George Martin figure to the band, encouraging ideas and tweaking others. At one point during the sessions, he made an astute observation to bassist Andrew Belsick: “I think you’re going to have to change your band name, because this is the most hi-fi record I’ve ever made,” Vega said. He was right.

Belsick and keyboardist/vocalist Becki Gallagher both say that LoFi Delphi plays pop music. Onstage, the hooks are immediately obvious, though they’re delivered with the power of a rock band. Gallagher’s keyboards add a bright sheen that complements the crunch of Andrew MacDonald’s guitar and the rhythm section of Belsick and drummer Tyler Jessup. MacDonald regularly sings harmonies behind Gallagher’s strong voice.

The band’s second CD, All the Quiet Ones, went heavy on moody atmosphere, so this time the members wanted to push the hooks to the forefront. “We wanted something really poppy, really bright, really melodic. And we wanted to be able to layer all the harmonies that we could come up with,” Gallagher says.

The band prepared for the sessions by playing demos for Vega, who knew immediately what approach to take. “Very early in the process, [Vega] said, ‘I want to try to do [what] The Cars [did], where you have a lead melody and just stack behind it, with three people singing the same harmony against that vocal melody,’” Belsick recalls. Along with Gallagher and MacDonald, the group brought in Maura Jacob (of Action Camp and Garter Shakes, which includes Gallagher) and singer-songwriter Jess Klein to contribute harmonies. 

“I had such a blast, because I felt like I was able to come out of my shell as a vocalist,” Gallagher says. It shows in the songs, which range from anthemic (“Buck”) to pure pop (“Phone”), climaxing with the six-minute title track that expands the template of a typical pop song. Besides performances, the upcoming CD-release show features a play-for-charity pinball game courtesy of Starport Arcade.