September 11th, 2011 | Album reviews

(Self released)

With “Drone of Dume,” N O W’s Kevin Litrow (formerly of 60 Watt Kid) turns in a six-minute love letter to the restorative effects of the Southern California coastline. Over a looped drum machine beat and two repeated rec-room organ chords, Litrow sings of taking a glum friend to Point Dume, at which point things become slightly surreal. “The dolphin baptizes you/and releases all the pain/from the city,” Litrow croons, and “Drone of Dume” becomes an “Under the Sea” for nature loving trippers. “Your eyes are dilated/My spirit’s elevated … Can you take us to the underwater shack?” Sure thing, for 25 dollars an eighth! While the musical structure rarely utilizes the drone referenced in the title, Litrow frequently throws in an explicit psychedelic flourish; the echoed, slightly flanged minor chords that lend a little tension at the halfway mark, before easily sliding back into the dominant melody like an ebbing tide, for example, or the rhythmically loose synth burbles and multi-tracked vocals that texture the last half of the song. The drums cut out at the end and Litrow fades the last lengthy note into a wash of wave crashing before one final surge from the organ. Sounding not unlike a sketch of a song Brian Wilson might have dreamt and promptly forgot about upon waking during the recording of “Feel Flows,” the song is an unassuming grower, filled with warmth and humor, much like a trip to Point Dume should be.

Tom Child