Somewhere deep in the Catskills, a young couple is making beautiful music together. Literally. Gary Levitt and Erica Quitzow each has a band, but each also counts the other as a bandmate.
Setting Sun is Levitt's baby, a moody brew of pop that includes acoustic or electric guitars, strings and some '80s-style keyboards; his confessional voice sometimes evokes Elliot Smith. "Isolation," from 2005's Math and Magic, brought together the dramatic delivery with a set of lyrics spilling out with a poetic skill rarely heard in any style of music. The newly released Children of the Wild may or may not have its own "Isolation," but it contains plenty of prime pop writing from Levitt.
On previous Setting Sun tours, Erica Quitzow played cello, drums and keyboards -- the second two simultaneously -- and added harmonies. After months of recordings that found her playing almost every instrument, she has released her solo debut under the name Quitzow. Art College is largely composed of lead cellos, vintage keyboards and beats that come from both live and programmed drums.
Her string instrument of choice, and its role as a lead instrument, draws similarities to cello trio Rasputina, especially when combined with Quitzow's semi-manic vocals. But Art College has dance party written over parts of it too, thanks to the rubbery keyboards. If the Fiery Furnaces could stick with just one musical idea and develop it, they might sound more like Quitzow.
Setting Sun and Quitzow will perform as full bands with both leaders acting in main and supporting roles.
Quitzow, Setting Sun, The Bossettes and Ursa Major. 8 p.m. Wed., July 23. Howler's Coyote Café, 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320
- Cellos and balloons: Quitzow