Polyphonic Spree to Come Full Circle with Club Dada Return
To say Tim Delaughter, lead singer of the Polyphonic Spree, has had an enriched music career would be a gross understatement. He's been in two huge Dallas-based bands, recorded more than eight full-length albums, composed movie soundtracks and toured for almost 24 years.
Valerie Elise Thompson Polyphonic Spree celebrated the release of "Yes, It's True" at Granada last summer
But Dallas native Delaughter is coming full circle in his career with Polyphonic Spree's visit to Club Dada this Saturday, where he will be playing Dada for the first time since that touring started all those years ago. The last time he played Dada, it was his first show with his previous band, Tripping Daisy, in 1990.
The Polyphonic Spree, now in their 14th year as a band, is most immediately recognizable by their sheer number of band members. Their current lineup features 20 musicians including choir singers and a diverse instrumental section. Over the years, 46 different members have come and gone, but the band's grandeur and liveliness has never faltered.
In their live shows, Delaughter said the band aims to make the experience inclusive of the audience in order to create a homogenous environment. "You feel like you're kind of part of the show," he says. "It's real engaging. I love it."
Delaughter says Dallas was the perfect place for the band to have taken shape because it had always felt like home and welcomed what the Polyphonic Spree were doing.
"I think it was good for me because, shit, I felt comfortable with the town," he says. "The musical landscape in Dallas has always been really great. The fans that support local music in Dallas have always been great."
Beyond their four studio albums and Christmas album, the Polyphonic Spree also worked with director Mike Mills to create the soundtrack for his 2005 movie Thumbsucker. Delaughter said writing for the soundtrack was similar to the band's records because he was still able to tell stories with songs, just with a more defined vision. In writing, he had to make sure that the songs were, in his own words, "Good, and not stupid."
"I loved it. I thought it was fantastic to just get the opportunity to do something like that," Delaughter says of the experience.
On their 2013 album Yes, It's True, Polyphonic Spree is simultaneously more intimate and dance-friendly. Although the individual tracks feel cohesive as a whole, the songs were actually written over a five-year period.
"It's a really broad record. It's cohesive but the songs are all over the place, but it works as a whole album," Delaughter says. "It was kind of a happy accident."
In fact, Delaughter claims Yes, It's True is absolutely one of his favorites because it was the product of exploring new directions to take the band. He said that the album ended up being more electronic and more personal in the content of songs, something he said he had never quite put out there before.
Among Polyphonic Spree's expansive alumni is fellow former Dallasite Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent. She came into the fold around 2002, when the Polyphonic Spree was auditioning a few more musicians before embarking on a European festival tour.
"I knew she was going to go on to do something," Delaughter says. "She's a phenomenal guitar player. I'll see her from time to time if we're playing a festival."
Beyond coming back to Dada specifically, Delaughter said returning to their hometown of Dallas is always a special occasion for the Polyphonic Spree.
"It's a hometown show, so you've definitely got fans and a lot of history because of Polyphonic Spree and Tripping Daisy," he says. "It's always good to be back home playing for a hometown crowd."
"They're going to have their minds blown," Delaughter adds. "We're going to give them a psychedelic journey that's going to leave a big freaking smile on their face."
THE POLYPHONIC SPREE play with Sam Lao and Quaker City Nighthawks at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 12 at Club Dada, $22-26