Building on the national trend in woodland animal band names (Deerhunter, Deerhoof, Deer Tick, etc.), San Antonio’s own Deer Vibes has emerged from the woods with this mostly instrumental four-song EP. The 10-piece mob escapes into the realms of indie-pop accompanied by sweet symphonic harmonies. The title track, “Ventura,” is a finely layered, happy-go-lucky tune fit for introductory credits to a zany TV sitcom, even as the song mysteriously leaves the listener suspended in feathery mid-air ambience during the last two minutes. While in “Song Three” the quaint pop guitars of singer Michael Carrillo and Isaac Duvon are alluring, the real breakdown happens at about the three-minute mark, where the guitars and drums dissipate into slowly fading static. The contemplative mood in “Interlude” is orchestrated with theatrical horns-and-percussion melodies, but “Paper” is a whole different ball game. The only song with vocals, it is a quiet, suggestive observation of the woodlands. Carrillo’s palsy-walsy crooning is light, yet adds luster to the EP. The breakdowns, accompanied by the gentle xylophone, lull the listener into a quaint stimulating space. This recording is a good sample of Deer Vibes’ vibrant sense of freedom.
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