"Take me to the water, in your new rover / I'll grab the surfboard and invite some friends over for tacos and ice cream," Del Pelson frontman Cal Nelson croons on their stand-out track "Tacos & Ice Cream." The warm, summer-centric song off their latest release, Wide World EP, is perhaps South Florida's catchiest summer anthem of 2018.
"I know I'm going to catch some flack for this," Nelson laughs. "But I am personally addicted to Taco Bell. Maybe when we are down in Miami next week some food truck can change my mind... Ice cream, I don't know. Breyers has never let me down."
After moving from Tampa to Boca Raton for music school at FAU, the Utah native met drummer Garrett
The Boca Raton-based quartet describes its sound as "combining catchy indie-pop melodies with the power of alternative rock," drawing inspiration from a spectrum of influences. "We all have distinct personal tastes," he says. "We all meet in the middle at like an indie/alternative rock kind of thing. I personally like a lot of Black Keys and Alabama Shakes kind of stuff. The bassist is a little bit more into math rock, and the drummer is a little bit more grungy. Funny enough, we wind up all liking stuff more along the lines of Two Door Cinema Club and Portugal the Man. A little more like alternative pop. We all went through FAU music school so occasionally you might hear a hint of jazz influence as well."
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As for the origins of their name: "The drummer and the bassist lived together at the time, and their third roommate, for whatever reason, took it upon himself to never call me by my real name," Nelson explains. "So every time I saw him, he tried to say something different... [It was] always a spinoff of my name and one of them finally stuck, and that was Del Pelson."
Now the band is gearing up for its show alongside Watch Glass, Red Light Motel, and Sun City Riot at Gramps, presented by SoundBite Magazine on July 7. The show comes on the heels of the band's five-track EP, with an overall theme Nelson describes as "the search for love and search for one's self."
"That's the Shaggin' Wagon [on the cover]. That's my Subaru," he proudly laughs. "Funny enough, if you look closely, my license plate actually expired before we released the EP. The first week that the EP was out, somebody messaged us through Instagram and made sure that I renewed my registration."
Del Pelson. With Watch Glass, Red Light Motel, and Sun City Riot. 8:30 p.m., Saturday, July 7, at Shirley's at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; gramps.com. Tickets cost $5 plus fees via Eventbrite.com; $7 at the door.