Sun Airways' second album, Soft Fall, is about layers. Orchestral, synthetic, organic, whatever the stuff of these layers, the float-y, gauze-like textures are the album's draw. The Philadelphia electro-pop outfit maintains a strong conventional songwriting core amidst the swirling synthesizers. Its central figure, Jon Barthmus, sounds like he is caught up in the twists of these self-created sonic tornadoes. At times, such as on "Wild Palms," his voice adds a soporific ingredient to the heady mix. Most times, however, it does the opposite, such as on the M83-inspired title track, where it boosts the tinkling rhythms to dancier heights. If Chris Martin got away from arenas and reverted to his English countryside roots, he would write a pastoral ditty like "Black Noise."
Sun., Oct. 14, 9 p.m., 2012