I don’t know if you’re allowed to call a band a “supergroup” if the bands of which it is composed are all fairly obscure. But as someone who loves the constituent parts of Middle Brother — singer/songwriters John McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, and Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit — I’m happy to use the superlative.
(Deer Tick and Delta Spirit appeared on my best of 2010, Dawes on best of 2009.)
Middle Brother’s eponymous debut is a loose-limbed, informal affair, and the more enjoyable for it. It’s not as intense or focused as any of the three bands on their own, but it is like hanging out with three talented, idiosyncratic dudes in the back yard, drinking beer from cans. The sound is a particular sort of indie Americana: some country, some rock, some L.A. pop folk, a little boogie.
This isn’t necessarily the best track on the album, but it’s the one that showcases all three voices best. It’s called “Million Dollar Bill.”