Touch & Go
Payam Bavafa, a third of this Bay Area-based trio, spent a year and a half researching brain waves for a neuroscientist. It may seem like an odd job for a guy who’s tapped into the eccentric energy of the SF/Berkeley/Oakland scene, but it’s paid off. He’s helped craft Sholi’s sound, nestled on the outskirts of postmodern chamber pop. Sholi comes at you in waves: forging and merging melodies to the brink of noise, then back down. In “Out of Orbit,” Bavafa sings: I know it’s rhetoric tired but all the unconcerned need a melody to smooth and average numb and nullify. At this point, the tune has let its foot off the noodly accelerator and dropped down into a fugue for your ennui-laden cab. Sholi is psychedelia for neuroscientists, love ballads to your illusory memory and a damn fine debut.