Former New Yorker and San Francisco-relocated indie-rock musician Gary Levitt has produced an interesting collection of songs, all written and recorded late last year in a small Bay Area apartment. Suggesting diverse indie influences from Elliot Smith to Nirvana and appropriately titled Holed Up, the new disc is mainly an acoustic-guitar-driven set of songs with additional instruments overdubbed by Levitt and musical partner/keyboardist Eric Layer.
Much of the material tends toward moody, minor-key extrapolations on pain, loss, and the all-too-brief flicker of potential happiness before the falling shadow of failure. Admittedly pretty bleak stuff, lyrically speaking. Yet these songs are just hook-laden enough to transcend their generally somber observations on the human condition.
Opening cut "I’ve Been Hit" establishes the introspective mood right off: "Runnin’ around/with this fear all over my face" … the bleakness somewhat parting before the melodic crest of the chorus. Other standouts include "The Only One," with its bubbly pace and past-tense joy, "Oh My God!" with its stoic confession "Tired of places I think I should see/Tired of history," and the penultimate tune, "Holy Days." Not everyone’s idea of a Catharine wheel, but certainly worth a spin.Setting Sun plays Moxie’s Café, 128 Broadway, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31.