Third Man Records release a 20th anniversary expanded edition of Kelley Stoltz’s defining album Antique Glow. Originally self-released in minuscule vinyl-only quantities in 2001, Antique Glow has served not only as a template for the length of Kelley Stoltz’s twenty-plus year career, but has also served as a compass for other Anglophile, TASCAM 388 home recording acolytes. Original copies featured Stoltz’s clever, wry and fanciful hand-painted adornments overtop reclaimed thrift store LP jackets, Third Man’s release here utilizes some of those original unused images for a die-cut sleeve that ultimately gives the listener six different possible album covers. The songs are by-and-large masterpieces of bedroom pop magic. From the whispering “Here Comes the Sun”-adjacent acoustic underpinnings of album opener “Perpetual Night” through the fuzz-threaded leads of “Are You Electric?” Stoltz’s inspirations are impeccable and clear. Sixties Davies British Invasion through 80’s British Bunnymen post-punk, with appropriate off-shoots into West Coast American pop-psych, Velvets-indebted hooliganism and Drake/CSNY acoustic attenuations, the end result is pure joy.
On the expanded version, standout tracks previously relegated to an Australian tour-only CD (like the breathlessly cinematic “Old Pictures”) see their first-ever vinyl and digital release while there’s an additional 10 songs from the Antique Glow-era seeing their first ever release in any format. The cutting room floor quality here is second-to-none, Stoltz clearly gifted with the curse of writing too many indelible songs, so the newly released “Too Beck” (originally cast off by Kelley because he thought “it sounded too much like Beck”) and “Umbrella” stand firm as some of the best, most timeless music Stoltz has ever released... a full two decades after he recorded them! With all instruments and vocals performed by Stoltz, the singularity of vision here is impeccably clear and executed.