Since releasing its debut album Ode To Sunshine in 2007, the San Diego-formed quintet Delta Spirit has maintained an admirable level of high-quality consistency that suggests that its best work is still to come.
The band honed its live act by tirelessly touring in the late 2000s alongside Cold War Kids, Dr. Dog, and The Shins before quickly establishing itself as a headliner in its own right. 2014’s Into the Wide garnered some of the most enthusiastic reviews of all the band’s output. It was given deluxe treatment—with the inclusion of demos and a cover of Cream’s “I Feel Free”—earlier this summer.
This Thursday and Friday, The Sinclair in Cambridge will host the final two dates of the “Delta Spirit and Friends” tour, in the course of which the band has been joined onstage by members of The Walkmen, Dr. Dog, Deer Tick, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and others.
I spoke by phone to lead singer Matt Vasquez, who will become a first-time father shortly after the Sinclair gigs, as the band was travelling through the “dead center of Pennsylvania” en route to Philadelphia.
What is Delta Spirit’s connection to the various artists who have joined you on this tour?
Most of them we’ve toured with before or we’ve been kind of related to with other artists, people that we’ve worked with. I’ve been a big fan of Jessica Lea Mayfield for a while. She joined us in Ohio, and we had an extra spot in the van, so she’s hoping on the whole East Coast run with us.
Does the line-up vary from city to city?
It does. It makes things kind of complicated, but it also makes it really fun. More pressure to figure out who’s going to be where, and also, you don’t want to let people down, you know?
With whom will you be performing at The Sinclair?
Boston’s gonna be a bit more fun. We’re gonna have Scott McMicken from Dr. Dog, and we’re gonna have Jessica Lea Mayfield as well, and then possibly….Well, I don’t want to say the people, because we’re not sure yet. But at least those two, and a few other people.
How do you feel about playing back-to-back night in town?
We’re really looking forward to playing a more intimate room in Boston. Normally we’ve been doing the Middle East Downstairs, and then the Paradise a bunch of times, we’ve done the new House of Blues. It’s been years since we’ve played a really intimate show in Boston, so it’ll be fun.
Fenway Park is hosting bands pretty regularly these days. What would you think of performing there?
I wish we could play Fenway. I don’t know how many people would show up!
Do you have any fond memories of being in Boston with the band?
A few times ago in Boston, there was a lesbian engagement party that happened [after a show]. We stayed out late and went dancing and it was really fun. That was in Cambridge.
Do you think that Into the Wide is in any ways superior to previous releases?
Well, it’s the newest, shiniest one! The songwriting in it is a little bit more mature. I don’t know. They’re all my children—every record, every song. I think that’s the case with everybody. Every record is like a yearbook. This is kind of the tail end of this one before we get started with a new one.
You moved from Long Beach, California, to Brooklyn, New York a few years ago, right?
Yeah, and now I’m in Austin, Texas. Two of us live in New York City, and two of us live in California, and I’m in Austin, Texas. We moved right after Into the Wide was recorded. It was a fun experiment. Spring and fall in the northeast felt beautiful.
Several Delta Spirit songs—including “California,” “Golden State,” and “Idaho”—are geography oriented. Did you write any East Coast-inspired songs while you were in New York?
I did, actually. Two them are gonna be on a solo record that’s gonna come out this spring.
Is the solo record going to be an anti-Delta Spirit mix of new wave keyboards and EDM?
No. I wanted to do something that was more rock ‘n’ roll-rock ‘n’ roll. It’s gonna sound like early Alice Cooper and Neil Young. Like the old Crazy Horse. It’s ROCK!
AN EVENING WITH DELTA SPIRIT AND FRIENDS. THU 8.13 & FRI 8.14 (the latter is sold out). THE SINCLAIR. 52 CHURCH STREET, CAMBRIDGE. 617.547.5200. 8PM/18+/$25.