The Gift Machine is an underground psych pop quartet (and sometimes more) currently based in rural North County San Diego. Forged in the freakishly fervent creativity of the Pacific Northwest, The Gift Machine’s Dave Matthies has worked with an impressive list of Northwest notables including Phil Elverum (The Microphones, Mount Eerie), Karl Blau, Little Wings, Lee Baggett, Your Heart Breaks, Laura Veirs, Bret Lunsford (D+, Beat Happening) and many more. After relocating to the San Diego several years ago and collaborating with now wife Andrea Gruber Matthies, Matthies has helmed The Gift Machine through many albums of critical acclaim, touring the US, and even time on the CMJ album charts….but still has mostly stayed under the radar.
Consolation Prize is full of fuzzed out sing alongs both sweet and gritty, featuring the beautifully intertwined voices of the husband and wife team. With guitar interplay reminiscent of the Feelies or vintage Flying Nun thanks to guitarist Matt Lawson’s and Matthies’ thick layers of bright and shimmering, spacious guitars, the songs are sweeping and cinematic, also belying a more modern dreampop/shoegaze influence. The propulsive rhythm section of Alanna Cassidy and Andrea Gruber Matthies has a hopeful, forward momentum at a steady pace.