Downpilot, the indie outfit spearheaded by Seattle-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Paul Hiraga, have been kicking around for the better part of two decades without ever cracking into the mainstream consciousness.
Various members have come and gone over the years, with Hiraga the lone constant, and he effectively turned Downpilot into a one-man show with the release of 2011 LP “New Great Lakes.” It was one of the band’s better efforts but it’s taken Hiraga four long years to return to the studio.
“I was not sure if would release another album, but these things cannot be buried,” Hiraga explains. “Time heals, experience colors the narrative, desire swells and wanes and resurges. There is always movement, away from the past with a heavy-heartedness, and towards something hopeful.”
Latest effort “Radio Ghost” is inspired in part by Hiraga’s father’s experiences in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. Recorded on vintage analogue equipment, with Hiraga playing almost every instrument himself, Downpilot deliver a winner. Among the standouts here are the title track, “Day of the Long Sun,” “Rosline,” “My Paper Son” and “Suzanne (The Silence).” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)