The oeuvre of the bro/sis duo known as Ponies in the Surf used to be recognizable primarily by Alexander McGregor's gentle tendrils of simple Spanish-style guitar, his voice intertwined harmoniously with Camille's breathy songbird chirp. Extraneous instrumentation was usually limited to some sprightly finger tapping. But on their forthcoming full-length debut, Ponies on Fire (Asaurus), the siblings go for broke, augmenting their old-timey sensibilities with a full-band sound and rich production that evokes chilly majesty of a band like Arcade Fire. Tinkling piano trills that sound like their showering from the outer reaches of space (or coming from down a dark hall). Undulating church-organ swells. Spector-al echoes, glowing hums, and ever-so-slight percussive touches.
Suddenly, what had "started out as a strummed lark on a summertime porch -- novelty songs, children's tunes, commercial jingles, Zombies covers, stabs at Edith Piaf melodies and other attempts to create the soundtrack to our lives" has blossomed into something big.
Alex and Camille will be sharing the stage at PA's Lounge Saturday night with their friends Pants Yell! (who describe their body of work as "cryptic bedroom pop") and Albany's Kamikaze Hearts (who describe theirs as "upstate porch rock"). The former will be getting all meta, covering Christmas covers from folks like Destroyer, Soltero, Vic Godard, Run On, and the Aislers Set.
(You can buy copies of Ponies on Fire there, and also t-shirts emblazoned with Alex's pen drawings of Mose Allison and Bix Beiderbecke. Both worthy purchases this holiday season.)
Saturday: Ponies in the Surf + Pants Yell! + Kamikaze Hearts at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville, 617.776.1557.LISTEN: Ponies in the Surf, "Little Boy Lost"LISTEN: Ponies in the Surf, "Ventricle"LISTEN: Pants Yell!, "Onward, Sailboat"LISTEN: Kamikaze Hearts, "Boston Whaler"