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The Polyphonic Spree: Euphoric and Cathartic

The Polyphonic Spree.
The Polyphonic Spree.

Few bands can rival The Polyphonic Spree's stage presence — not to mention its size: The group boasts a whopping two dozen members, who combine to make a sound that can be euphoric, cathartic and haunting, sometimes all at once. Inspired by the experimental rock bands of the '70s, former Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter formed The Polyphonic Spree in 2000, with the aim of working with a wide variety of musicians and performers. He soon discovered the power of a crowd, as his new group's debut (The Beginning Stages of the Polyphonic Spree) sounded unlike anything in rock music.

In the years that followed, the group toured with David Bowie, scored several high-profile spots in TV commercials, appeared in film soundtracks and released its second album, Together We're Heavy. A new follow-up, The Fragile Army, finds The Polyphonic Spree trading in its trademark robes for black military garb, but the music remains sprawling and inspiring.

Copyright 2007 XPN

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.