'W e're at an administrative disadvantage but also a creative advantage," says the Spinto Band's Nick Krill.
Krill and Thomas Hughes, the Delaware sextet's two principal songwriters and vocalists, are in a Wilmington coffee shop talking about the launch of their new label, Spintonic Recordings, and self-releasing and self-producing Shy Pursuit, their third official album.
History is complicated for the Spinto Band. Their first album was really their seventh or eighth, and their new album is actually more than a year old.
By the time they put out Nice and Nicely Done in 2006, they had been making records in their basement for years, although few were formally released.
"Ten years ago, the song was done when it was time for Saturday Night Live to come on," Krill said.
But Nice and Nicely Done, professionally recorded in Nashville and released on the venerable Bar None Records, gathered acclaim for its joyful guitar-pop, eclectic arrangements, and indie hit, "Oh Mandy." Moonwink, produced by notables Tchad Blake and David Trumfio, followed in 2008 with more undeniably catchy and percolating power-pop.
Since then, the band members, many of whom have known each other since childhood (or birth, with two sets of brothers among them), built their own recording studio in northern Delaware, started their record label, and did a soundtrack (a set of spaghetti-western-meets-island music instrumentals to accompany the independent documentary film Biba! One Island, 879 Votes). In the midst of all that, in 2010, they recorded Shy Pursuit, another excellent set of perky, quirky pop. And then they had to figure out the logistics to release it themselves.
"It's weird to think that we've lived with these songs for so long," Krill says. "For us, it doesn't seem like a long time, but then when you stop and realize that 2008 was our last album, it's strange. For just the average person checking in on the band, that's an insane amount of time. I feel busy as ever, but somebody else might be like, whatever happened to this band? Hopefully, it'll sound new to people. Hopefully, it doesn't sound like 2010."
It doesn't: The Spinto Band crafts songs that blend styles and eras seamlessly, traversing from Van Dyke Parks to Vampire Weekend, without sounding forced or contrived.
But the new songs are now old news to the band.
"We've been in the center of every different sound, and every instrument, every vocal take is embedded into our brains at this point," Hughes says.
The Spintos already have recorded several songs for their next album, but now is the time to share Shy Pursuit with the world. This week, they begin a series of residency shows, with four Tuesdays at Kung Fu Necktie and four Thursdays at the Rock Shop in Brooklyn.
"It's just an opportunity to get our sea legs back a little bit," Krill says. "We haven't been touring for a while, so it feels good to play some stuff to get going again before we bite off anything bigger."