Setting Sun – Children of the Wild

Hailing from the Catskills of New York, the brainchild behind the magnificent Setting Sun is Gary Levitt. Children of the Wild, out June 10th on Young Love Records, is the third effort from Levitt, who went solo following the the dissolution of other projects he’d been involved in. Levitt currently shares a home studio with musical collaborator Erica Quitzow, who uses her last name as her musical moniker. She takes on vocals, drums, cello, violin and more for Children of the Wild, adding fluidity and beauty to an already outstanding album.

Children of the Wild begins with the low and mellow “What We Wanted.” Levitt’s vocals are saturated with melancholy as he sings the opening chorus and each verse, methodically strumming his acoustic guitar. A sense of sadness is heightened when Quitzow and the other backing musicians join Levitt for the chorus: “We never really got what we wanted. / We barely even get what we need. / We never really got what we wanted, / But we try. But we try.”

The slightly haunting “No Devil Me No More” (download) seamlessly emerges from “What We Wanted.” Quitzow provides a deep and eerie cello part as well as a pounding back beat on the drums, driving the song forward. The bridge features warped guitar chords before the chorus picks up and Quitzow ends the song with a deep and frantic cello trill. This and the next song are definite earmarks for singles. “How Long” is instantaneously bouncy and catchy, hooking you in every single aspect. The harmony between the keys and violin is simply gorgeous. A Levitt sings in the chorus, “this song can’t be ignored.”

Much of the album retains a jaunty feel with plucky strings, steady beats and driving riffs, yet “Slob” deviates from the upbeat indie pop sound. It’s echoed vocals evoke a dreaminess that is complimented by a soothing violin, rain-like percussion and Quitzow and Lawrence Roper‘s eerie backing vocals. “Love My Love” keeps the dreamlike state intact with its low tones and hushed sound.

“Love My Love” is a warped and trippy tune featuring great effects from a synth, some of which sound like they could belong in a video game. The dynamic between the synth and the rest of the instrumentation is intriguing: Levitt’s vocals are agitated are over a haunting melody and angry drum beat. The mellowed “Morning Song” continues with a slightly warped synth sound before Children of the Wild ends with the hugely melodic “Happy Joy.”

In the vein of a modern classic like Bright Eyes, Levitt’s unrivaled pop sensibilities make for meticulously crafted songs on both ends of the emotional spectrum. This is definitely an album to own.

Children of the Wild will be available on June 10th via Young Love Records. Pick up a copy and be sure to catch Setting Sun on tour beginning at the end of June. I’ll be covering the Philly date so check back for more on Setting Sun!

01. What We Wanted
02. No Devil Me No More
03. How Long
04. Carry Me Away
05. Overjoyed
06. Slob
07. Love My Love
08. Not Waste
09. Inside My Love
10. Morning Song
11. Happy Joy

Tour Dates:
Jun 24 – The Khyber/Philadelphia, Pa. *
Jun 25 –
War Memorial Building/Sheperdstown, WV (All Ages!) * (also w/ Greg Loftus & Black Fences)
Jun 27 –
Room with a Brew/Leonardtown, Md. (All Ages!) *
Jun 28 –
The Spazzatorium Galleria/Greenville, NC * (also w/ …)
Jun 29 –
The Acoustic Coffeehouse/Johnson City, Tn. *
Jun 30 –
Lenny’s/Atlanta, Ga. * (also w/ Cat Riley & Nerdkween)
Jul 02 –
Murphy’s/Memphis, Tn. * (also w/ The Warbles)
Jul 03 –
The Hallway/Tahlequah, Ok. (All Ages!) * (also w/ The Beau Weevilz)
Jul 05 –
Soundpony/Tulsa, Ok. *
Jul 06 –
The 806/Amarillo, Texas (All Ages!) * (also w/ Wolf Cub)
Jul 07 –
The Atomic Cantina/Albuquerque, NM (w/ Bellemah)
Jul 08 –
The Totah Theatre/Farmington, NM (All Ages!)*
Jul 09 –
Three Clubs/Los Angeles, Ca. * (also w/ Layer)
Jul 10 –
Rickshaw Stop/San Francisco, Ca. * (also w/ The Love X Nowhere)
Jul 11 –
The Crepe Place/Santa Cruz, Ca. *
Jul 12 –
Jambalaya/Arcata, Ca. * (also w/ John Ludington)
Jul 14 –
The High Dive/Seattle, Wa. *
Jul 16 –
Neurolux/Boise, Id. *
Jul 17 –
Boing! Collective/Salt Lake City, Ut. (All Ages!) *
Jul 18 –
The Lions Lair/Denver, Co. * (also w/ Able Archer & Princess Tiger)
Jul 19 –
Oleaver’s/Omaha, Ne. * (also w/ Landing on the Moon)
Jul 21 –
Mac’s/Lansing, Michigan *
Jul 22 –
Von’s (aka Vault 13)/Detroit, Mi. * (also w/ Statement of a Burning Paradiso)
Aug 02 –
60 Main/New Paltz, New York (All Ages!) (also w/ John Ludington and DUFUS)
Nov-Dec – European Tour

* w/ Quitzow

Setting Sun: website | myspace | live review | download, watch “No Devil Me No More”
Young Love Records: website | myspace

One Response

  1. […] Records darlings Setting Sun and Quitzow, both of whom released new [wonderful] albums this month, Children of the Wild and Art College, respectively, have hit the road to pimp out the musical gems nationwide. Tuesday […]

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