By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
In fact, Wilkins, Moll, and Yehezkely have never sat down together and played the songs live, nor are there any live performances planned. For the moment, choosing a name for Project X is more crucial. That won't be easy either, as Moll has already dismissed several Yehezkely suggestions as "too charming or frivolous." First at the finish line is the Postmarks.
With Yehezkely's romantic wordplay and beguiling sense of restrained emotion projecting an air of vulnerability, the songs came alive. An avid Francophile who began learning French in college and finds inspiration in Edith Piaf, Nina Simone, and Françoise Hardy, she wrote French lyrics for three more Moll compositions.
Moll has crafted his suite into a cinematic mini-opera, where daydreams and reveries abound. The lyrics to "Goodbye," the sparkling, orchestrated opener, is a kiss-off to busted relationships of the past: "Goodbye/I'm not gonna cry/As I'm hopping that train/Knowing I won't see you again/Don't leave a key/Underneath the mat for me/'cause I won't be coming back around here."
Flowing like a brook under a cobblestone bridge, each song builds upon and adds to the mood. Suddenly, you're sitting in a dark-paneled pub on a rainy Sunday, enjoying a pint after church. It's 5 o'clock, the sun is setting, and you're not sure if it's going to be bangers and mash or fish and chips when the door blows open and the draft creeps in. A tap on your shoulder -- it's an old friend popping in -- and soon you're sitting in a leather armchair, playing a game of chess in the corner near the fireplace. The last two tracks -- the harpsichord heartbreak of "You Drift Away" and the wan half-light of "End of the Story" -- make a tear-jerkingly pretty finale.
"The reason it took such a long time," Moll states, "is that we had the ingredients, but we didn't know how to cook the dish. I knew I wanted something that was passionate, romantic, kind of epic, but I hadn't quite clarified what it was yet."
Now that the songs are cooling on the windowsill, he's offered friends small samples. To him, all the fine-tuning and post-production feels like plastic surgery. "And now we're taking the bandages off," he says.
Those who've heard Project X, though, are eager for the world to hear it too. Fundaro says he will use his music-industry connections to shop the finished album to larger labels like Sub Pop and Matador. After all, he says, that's all it took for Miami's bearded boy wonder, Sam Beam, to find a major-label home for his Iron and Wine project. "Chris is just like that," Fundaro insists. "His stuff is that good."
McFadden's eager to hear what Moll has been cooking up. "He's Brian Wilson -- he should be recording and producing other people," McFadden says. "He's remarkably talented for his age, and he's had a lot of ups and downs. You get your heart broken -- that's one of the best reasons to make records. I see that as a formula for greatness."
To hear a sample of the "suburban bedroom symphony," visit www.thepostmarks.com.