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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Last New Music picks of the year: Just Like Honey, Sarah Smith, Angel Olsen, Pinegrove, Current Swell

Just Like Honey: Slow Lane

This dream-pop band released its first album in 2018 and has just followed up with a new EP, Slow Lane. Based in Germany, the members come from that country and France, the USA and Canada. Their music joins the ethereal vocals of Darlene Jonasson and Bianca Yang to a hard-rock foundation, laid down by lead guitarist Patrick LeMar and his brother, drummer Steve Le Mar, with Jonasson also playing guitar and Yang on bass and piano. The title track's refrain - "Too slow for the fast lane / too fast for the slow lane / Where do I belong?" - answers itself with the final line, "Watch me now."

Sarah Smith: You Don't Get My Love

Based in London, Ontario, this rock guitarist/vocalist has toured all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe since starting her solo career in 2012. She's about to release her fifth album, Unveiling, billed as taking her vulnerable songwriting "to a deeply personal new level as Sarah sings about love, loss, and having the courage to trust in her own voice." Smith's singing invites comparisons to Melissa Etheridge, and this track would mix well with any of the rockers in M.E.'s songbook.

Angel Olsen: What It Is

This North Carolina-based singer-songwriter has expanded her indie-folk-rock sound on her latest album, All Mirrors, to include sweeping orchestrations. As Rolling Stone puts it, "With cinematic strings and goth-noir drama, [Olsen] makes her biggest, boldest record yet. ... The songs are all navigations and negotiations of love, self-interrogations included, and nothing’s simple or clear cut." This single starts out with a simple beat before building to swells of angry-sounding strings and crashing cymbals.

Pinegrove: Phase

This New Jersey-based quartet is about to release its fourth LP, Marigold, and embark on an extensive tour of North America and Europe. This song, says frontman Evan Stephens Hall, “is more or less about insomnia - trying to sleep but things racing in your mind, looking around your room ... seeing all the things you could do or should be doing, enumerating tasks, making lists in your head, moving through anxieties and eventually, hopefully, into sleep.”

Current Swell: How Many Times

This is about the rocking-est track from the British Columbia-based band's latest release, Buffalo. On the singles "High Life" and "Bring It On Home," the band shows a mellower side, but our pick for the New Music bin is a jaunty roots-rock blast. The spontaneous sound of the track belies the care put into making the album, which took place over more than a year. Singer-guitarist Scott Stanton explains, "We’d record three songs, go home, and listen to those songs before asking: ‘What else does the album need?’”

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Fresh picks from KOYO, Madison Cunningham, Annie Keating, Drew Holcomb, Mallrat

KOYO: Ostracised

We've been playing tracks by this British band on our extra-eclectic show The Detour, and now we're moving their latest single into our New Music bin. The five-piece from Leeds cites psych-rock bands like Tame Impala as influences, and mixes in strains of harder and progressive rock. "We liked the idea of writing a song that manages to pull together both directions we’ve been going in - the wilder, more raucous side and the spacey, poppier side," the band said in a release. "Lyrically, let it be an anthem for anyone who’s felt disconnected or cut off from something, someone, maybe society or socially.”

Madison Cunningham: Trouble Found Me

We previously featured "Pin It Down" from this Los Angeles singer-songwriter's recent album, Who Are You Now. Popmatters called our latest pick the "catchiest moment on the record." The lyric suggests the trouble came in the form of a bad relationship - "But nothing that I can do / Is enough for you" - that the singer is leaving behind with lessons learned. "Next time I'm gonna be ready / When trouble finds me."

Annie Keating: $20

The flow of new releases slows in the holiday season, and that gives us a chance to revisit music that emerged earlier this year. Back in July we featured "Beholden" from this Brooklyn-based country-bluesy-rock-singer-songwriter's latest EP, Can't Stand Still. Now that it's winter, we're breaking out this track about being on the street in bitter January cold with $20 to your name.

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors: The End of the World

This is another song that came out over the summer, on this Nashville-based Americana-rock band's latest collection, Dragons. The Detour included it in a cheerfully apocalyptic theme set (which you can hear here). Holcomb calls it "our take on the 'Eat, Drink, and Be Merry' for tomorrow you will die theme" as well as a "big clarion call for community."

Mallrat: Charlie

We're also catching up with this track from September's Driving Music, the second EP by Australia's Mallrat, a.k.a. Grace Shaw. A bit of a departure for the hip-hop-influenced pop singer, this song opens with gentle piano chords setting a reflective mood before Shaw begins talk/singing about feelings of love that maybe aren't entirely requited: "I just might love you forever / I hope you warm up to me." The closing refrain invokes the Charlie of the title: Shaw's dog. "All I wanna do is see you when I get home / Like Charlie in the rain outside."

Saturday, December 14, 2019

New singles from U2, Wye Oak, teepee, Tic Tic and Adrian Sutherland added to our Marvelous Mix

U2 & A.R. Rahman: Ahimsa

This collaboration between one of the world's most famous rock bands and one of India's best-known composers is a song of non-violence - the translation of the Sanskrit title. Released to coincide with U2's first-ever concerts in India, the track opens and closes with Rahman's daughters singing an ancient Tamil verse. Otherwise it's very recognizable as a U2 song - sweeping and earnest. The Irish Times calls it "cookie-cutter U2 ... But it works ... It isn’t the least bit histrionic. U2 feel more carefree than at any point in the past decade."

Wye Oak: Fortune

Originally from Baltimore, Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner lived in separate cities for a few years and split their time between Wye Oak and side projects. Now they're living in the same city again (Durham, N.C.) and got together in a studio this summer to produce some new music. "Fortune" is the first track to emerge and the duo’s first release since 2018’s The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs. Consequence of Sound says the song "is paced by steady cyclical sonic builds, icy synth winds sweeping over Wasner’s broad harmonies." Says Wasner: "Life is change. Change is loss. This song is about how hard it is to let go, and the feeling of celebrating and mourning it all at once.”

teepee: Heavenly Gates

From the Czech Republic comes the dream pop / indie-folk music of Tereza Lavičková and Miroslav Patočka. They've been featured on The Detour, and now they've landed in our New Music bin with this track from their upcoming second album, Where the Ocean Breaks. The  duo describes the album as "about hope, reconciliation, love, changes but also about the inequalities in our society, and connection with nature."

Tic Tic: Autopilot

From Prague we jump north to Kristiansand, Norway, where Irene Svendsen and Kai Drange live "with our cat and our synths." Their music combines programmed patterns and electronic instruments with dreamy vocals. This brightly bouncing number is the first single from their debut album, to be released early in the new year.

Adrian Sutherland: Politician Man

Whether you live in Canada - Sutherland is originally from Attawapiskat in northern Ontario - or in the U.S. or the U.K. or virtually anywhere on Planet Earth, you can probably relate to this song. "Hey Mr. Politician Man, whatcha done for me lately? / Hey Mr. Politician Man won't you break me off a piece some day," Sutherland sings. "Lying to my face / Lying to yourself / Lying to the people you said that you would help." The frontman of roots-rock band Midnight Shine (which we've featured before) released this song in October, just before Canada's federal election. We bet it will remain relevant for a long, long time. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

New sounds from Armada of Secrets, Michael Stipe, The Who, The Lone Bellow, Cold War Kids

Armada of Secrets: Make Me Over

You may have caught this track on one of our now-nightly trips on The Detour. Now we're highlighting it in our New Music bin. Vocalist Caroline Kabera and bassist Carl Dawkins met in music school after Kabera immigrated to London from Burundi. Armada of Secrets has been an on-and-off project over several years, and this release is the first to reach our ears. It has a distinctive drum-and-bass-driven, soulful rock sound, with a lyric that the duo says reflects "the desire we have to remodel ourselves ... It brought all of our anxieties, fears, and accomplishments (and even lack of) to the forefront."

Michael Stipe: Your Capricious Soul

The former R.E.M.-er just released his first solo single on his own website, with proceeds going to the climate activism group Extinction Rebellion. The song references the planet's distress (“the birds are dying / or they might as well be”), but that's just one of the themes Stipe touches on in his oblique way. Pitchfork calls the track "sonically dazzling," adding that it "feels less like a big new gesture than a continuation of Stipe’s thoughtfully wayward pursuit of his post-R.E.M. muse."

The Who: All This Music Must Fade

On their new album, called simply Who, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey follow in their own footsteps, with the latter giving voice to the former's thoughtfully cynical lyrics. And they turn that cynicism on themselves in tracks like this one, which borrows sounds and phrases from Who classics while dismissing them as ephemeral. “I don't care / I know you’re gonna hate this song ... It won't light up your parade/It's just simple verse.” Elsewhere on the album, the veterans look back on their early days as "snotty young kids" who found themselves successful and rich - and grew old in spite of themselves: "We tried hard to stay young / But the high notes were sung." If this turns out to be the last Who album, it seems an appropriate sign-off.

The Lone Bellow: Count On Me

There's no trace of cynicism in this I've-got-your-back declaration from the trio of Zach Williams, Kanene Donehey Pipkin, and Brian Elmquist. Singing in harmony, they promise to be there when you "need an arm 'round your neck / Somebody you can talk to." Rolling Stone calls it "a message of reassurance in a troubled world," as well as "a pulsing, high-energy song." We can easily imagine it becoming a cathartic sing-along at live shows.

Cold War Kids: Dirt In My Eyes

The California band's latest release, New Age Norms 1, is the first of a planned trilogy of relatively short (8-song) albums. We previously featured the first single, "Complainer," and now we're picking up this equally ear-catching track. Glide Magazine calls it a "shimmering and propulsive ... dance-rock hybrid.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Our latest adds: The Restless Age, Drive-By Truckers, Coldplay, Eliza & The Delusionals, 311

The Restless Age: Time Can't Go Back Now

From the music scene around Woodstock, N.Y., comes the trio of Will Bryant (keyboards), Lee Falco (drums) and Brandon Morrison (bass). Their music features vocal harmonies that recall classic bands like CS&N and Poco and could mix well with modern outfits like Real Estate, Lost Leaders and Grizzly Bear. Over the past several years they've performed as backing musicians for Amy Helm, Donald Fagen, John Sebastian and Graham Nash, and have toured in support of  The Waterboys and others. Our featured track is on The Building Sessions, an LP they recorded in a couple of days earlier this year at The Building recording studio in Marlboro, N.Y.

Drive-By Truckers: Amageddon's Back In Town

One of the most common themes in rock music these days is a feeling of disorientation amid a world in crisis. Some songs confront politics and climate change directly, others convey a sense of general confusion. This track takes the latter course, with Patterson Hood singing cryptic lyrics like "You can't tell the darkness from the flame" and "You can't tell the rabbit from the hat. The band describes the song as a “whirlwind joyride through the whiplash of events we collectively deal with each day.” This is the first single from an album titled The Unraveling, expected in January.

Coldplay: Arabesque

We previously featured "Orphans," one of the early singles from Everyday Life. The full album was just released, and Spin calls it "their best album since 2011’s Mylo Xyloto, and their most provocative work to date." Coldplay experiments here with touches of classical, gospel, country and world music. "Arabesque" is a particularly international number, with a verse contributed by Belgian musician Stromae and a horn section led by Femi Kuti, son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. To our ears, it's the strongest cut on the album.

Eliza & The Delusionals: Just Exist

This indie-rock band hails from Southport, on the Gold Coast of Australia. Frontwoman Eliza Klatt says "Just Exist is about the balance of feeling depressed and feeling creative and inspired by those feelings. ... I hate feeling down but if I didn’t feel that way I think I would plainly just exist.” This single was released several months ago but has taken a while to find its way to our New Music bin. So far the band has released an EP and several singles; we don't know if there's an album on the way.

311: Dodging Raindrops

We round out this week's New Music bin with a cheery tune from this band's 14th (!) album, Voyager. This track puts a sunny, pop gloss on 311's trademarked reggae-rock. Consider it our guilty pleasure of the week.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Covers by Aimee Mann, Evanescence + new tunes from Judah & The Lion, Runabay, Deep Blue Sea

Aimee Mann: "Hold On"

Nashville-based Dualtone Records just released Come Up To The House: Women Sing Waits, a collection of 12 covers of Tom Waits songs interpreted by female vocalists. Produced by Warren Zanes, it features performances by Rosanne Cash, Patty Griffin, Corinne Bailey Rae, Phoebe Bridgers and many more - including Aimee Mann. In a glowing review of the album, Variety says Mann makes this classic her own: "something about Mann’s voice naturally conjures the tossed-off intimacy of a coffee shop confession between besties." Of the entire collection, the magazine says: "Freed from Waits’ gravelly, way-down-in-the-hole brogue, his female interpreters discover dramatic new shapes and colors within" his songs.

Evanescence: "The Chain"

In a very different musical vein, Evanescence gives its gothic orchestral pop treatment to this Fleetwood Mac classic. It's the band's first rock recording in eight years, and debuted in the trailer for a new video game. Whatever its origins, it works: The dramatic song lends itself well to this band's overwrought stylings and Amy Lee's soaring voice. "This cover was so fun to make," Lee said in a press release. "We love Fleetwood Mac and wanted to paint a dark and epic picture with our take on 'The Chain.'"

Judah & The Lion: "Alright"

This Nashville band, with its brand of folk-tinged electronic pop, hasn't been a regular part of our mix before. But this track caught our attention with its simple, hopeful response to a deeply troubled world. "It's clear to me we're scared to hope," Judah Akers sings - and yet: "I don't know why / I cannot stop this feeling inside / ...We're gonna be alright." The bouncy tune invites you to believe it, at least for a few minutes.

Runabay: "How Long"

This indie-folk band from Northern Ireland was featured in our New Music bin a couple of years ago, and we're happy to have them back with this new single. It's a quiet, contemplative song evocative of someone gazing at the sky and pondering deep questions about love and life: "In the movements of your body / In the stillness of the skies / Lies the root of my existence / Where infinity resides." The band's recent album, Between the Lines, was a nominee for this year's Northern Ireland Music Prize.

Deep Blue Sea: "Rock Star Status"

This London-based quartet joined our mix about a month ago with "Don't Say I Didn't Warn You," and now we're taking another dip into Strange Ways, the group's debut studio album. It's a snappy Warholian commentary on our everyone-wants-to-be-a-star culture. "Everybody here gets rock star status /  there's no pointing out 'cause everybody's famous," Dregas Smith sings over driving guitar, bass and drums. "Fifteen seconds of adoration / a lethal dose of adulation."

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Orwells '84, Best Coast, Sarah Harmer, Jackie and Demob Happy - the latest additions to our mix

Orwells '84 - "On The Road"

We introduced our listeners to this indie-folk band from Dundalk, Ireland, with their single "Cailin" back in May. Now we're happy to present a track from their just-released debut EP, Truth Is The First Victim. With intricate arrangements featuring a wide range of acoustic instruments, this six-piece group creates a very original and quite joyous sound that could easily be the highlight of a summer music festival. We'll be adding more tracks to our mix in the weeks to come.

Best Coast: "For The First Time"

Photo by Kevin Hayes
"I'm 2 years sober today," Bethany Cosentino tweeted this week, just days after she and Bobb Bruno released this new Best Coast single. It's an upbeat, infectious song - and a personal statement of survival. "On Friday nights I don't spend too much time / Lying on the bathroom floor (like I used to) / The demons deep inside of me / They might have finally been set free," Cosentino sings. "I feel like myself again / But for the first time." That's great news. The single is a preview of what will be the first Best Coast album in five years. Titled Always Tomorrow, it's due in the new year, probably around the same time the band starts a tour in February.

Sarah Harmer: "New Lows"

Ontario singer-songwriter and activist Sarah Harmer is preparing to bring out her first new LP in a decade, Are You Gone. The first single to spin out is a call for action to protest politicians' inaction on rescuing the climate. The song references "new threats, new lows," and then suggests a mass movement could make a difference: "If this gets us to our feet / And grows / Who Knows?" Says Harmer: "I hope this song gets people to their feet, and not only to dance." But it does, in fact, have a good beat.

Jackie - "Lifetime In A Touch"

Lingering in Ontario, we turn to this Toronto-based trio's new single, which they say is "essentially a heartbreak song, wrapped in a happy vibe... a ‘there’s a light at the end of the tunnel’ story." Substream Magazine describes the track as grimy rock with a pop groove: "(Marc) Girardin’s guitars are extra fuzzy, but the riffs are still as catchy as they come. (Max) Trefler’s drums are key to giving the song momentum, and it’s clear (lead singer and songwriter Jackie) Mohr had a strong vision in the writing."

Demob Happy: "Autoportrait"

This high-energy rocker was actually released in mid-summer, and we gave it a spin on The Detour. We gave it another listen the other day and decided to add it to our New Music bin. The track grabs your ears and shakes them for just less than three minutes, then stops as suddenly as it began. The Brighton, U.K., band's frontman, Matt Marcantonio, described the song as “coercing a confession out of myself over insecurities," but the lyric alternates between anxiety ("I am afraid to be who I am") and security ("I know nothing wrong could happen / While I'm still in love with you.")

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Our latest picks: Jacobs Run, Awolnation, Phantogram, Margot White, Lucy Bell

Jacob's Run: Follow You Anywhere

A couple of years in the making, the debut LP from this Melbourne-area trio has just been released. For our regular listeners, several of the tracks are familiar - we've had this band in our mix for more than two years as they issued a string of singles. But while the rest of the world catches up on songs like "Better Days," "Hold On A Minute" and "So Beautiful," we're breaking out another album highlight. On this upbeat expression of infatuation, the group's guitar-and-drums rock is augmented with orchestral strings.

AWOLNation: The Best

From Aaron Bruno, the artist that brought us "Sail" (the sleeper hit of 2011 that stayed on the charts for a year and a half) comes another alt-rock anthem of anxious self-doubt: "I want to walk a little bit taller / I want to feel a little bit stronger / I want to think a little bit smarter." Bruno says of the song: “I’m always on the journey to improving myself, but all along, knowing it’s close to impossible to really be the best at anything. ... [M]aybe it is more about the journey and acceptance of comfort within one’s own existence.” The single is the prelude to his fourth album, due next year.

Phantogram: In A Spiral

We turn up the volume with the latest single by this duo from the lovely town of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Stereogum calls the track an "energetic synth-rock stomper. It’s got huge drums sounds and effects all over its guitars, and Sarah Barthel belts it out with an impressive level of swagger." The distorted synths and pounding drums swirl around a lyric that seems to speak of losing identity amid our self-referential culture: "I'm a meme on a feed in a spiral / Imitate, elevate, making heads roll ... Help me now, I'm going down / Every day, every day in a spiral."

Margot White: Face to Face

We're always happy to discover a new, distinctive sound, and that's what we find in this track from I Saw It On The Radio, the debut of this London-based artist. Born in Texas, she recorded the EP between her music studies at Goldsmiths/University of London. The combination of a minimalist arrangement and dreamily seductive vocal is a bit reminiscent of Marian Hill, with a sense of mystery. "Time and space / two can play at that kind of game," White intones. "Are you wondering what I see? / Take my hand and walk with me."

Lucy Bell: Fools

Early this year we featured "Lost On The Line," the sophomore single by this emerging singer-songwriter from Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. Since then, she won the Dalraida Festival's 2019 Rising Stars award, played numerous gigs around the region and recorded this brand-new track. The 19-year-old's lyric suggests a young couple's effort to work out how to build a relationship: "Give me something I can hold on to / 'Cause I'm sick of all these childish rules."

Saturday, November 2, 2019

New from Van Morrison, A. Billi Free, Marcus King, The Blue Stones and The Rallies

Van Morrison - March Wind in February

The amazingly prolific songwriter, singer and rock pioneer has just released his 41st album, Three Chords and the Truth. Perhaps more surprisingly, it's the sixth LP in four years from the 74-year-old Morrison. And it's filled with original songs. And that voice - a bit mellowed with age but unmistakably Van. We're featuring the lead-off track, which like much of the album would segue perfectly with classics from Tupelo Honey or Astral Weeks.

A. Billi Free: "Feel It Coming"

Vocalist A. Billi Free teams up with Chicago production crew Tensei to create a one-of-a-kind mixture of R&B, hip-hop, electronica and jazz. Exclaim! calls Free's debut album, I Luma, "a vibe ... that washes over listeners" in 11 tracks that "orbit around an overarching theme of self-discovery." KEXP praises Free's "expressive, elastic, enveloping vocal style." We've sampled the album on our Sunday free-form show The Detour, and now we're featuring "Feel It Coming" in our New Music bin.

Marcus King: The Well

Stepping apart from his band, this 23-year-old electric guitar wizard has recorded a solo album, El Dorado, produced by the ubiquitous Dan Auerbach. Recorded in three days of sessions with backing musicians assembled by Auerbach at his Nashville studio, the album is billed as a “contemporary genre-bending sonic exploration of classic rock, blues, southern R&B and country-soul.” King says of this lead single that it "symbolizes the source of all my influences. It is everything that has happened to me to make me the man I am today.”

The Blue Stones: Shakin' Off The Rust

Just about a year after the reissue of its debut album (Black Holes), this Ontario guitar-and-drums duo is out with a new single and is on tour across Europe. The track a straightforward dose of classic-style indie rock. "This song is about battling the thoughts in your head that make you doubt yourself, and coming through with the confidence to make something great,” says vocalist/guitarist Tarek Jafar.

The Rallies: If You Do

The Seattle area isn't exactly known for sunny beaches, but from that area comes this band with a sound that evokes California dreamin'. The quartet's new, second album, Upside Down, features jangly guitars, tight vocal harmonies and cheerful 80s-pop-style tunes. Powerpop News says our featured track has "an uplifting message, a monster hook, glorious harmonies and some beautiful Beatlesque guitar touches." Mixes well with: early-90s Matthew Sweet.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Introducing Deep Blue Sea, plus new Coldplay, Broken Bells, Mumford & Sons, Half Moon Run

Deep Blue Sea: "Don't Say I Didn't Warn You"

Four musicians from four different countries found one another in London and formed this rootsy-bluesy-rock band, which recently released its first studio album, Strange Ways. Lead vocals by Dregas Smith (from the U.S.) ring out over the tight backing of guitarist Iago Banet (Spain), bassist Graeme Wheatley (England) and drummer Amanda Dal (Sweden). Rock and Blues Muse says of the album: "The band seamlessly connects vintage blues/rock, stomping rockabilly, reggae and more in its tight, intelligent songs and does it in a way that captures the intangibles in those genres, not just the guitar licks."

Coldplay: "Orphans"

The upcoming 16-track album Everyday Life is being called "experimental," and on the first two singles to spin out, Coldplay does push its envelope, trying out new and exotic sounds and rhythms. "Orphans" is perhaps more Coldplay-like than its companion, the sax-and-horn-infused "Arabesque," but the percussion and choral background give it a world-music flavor. Its deceptively upbeat, bouncy tune contrasts with its lyrics - which tell of the dead and orphans of the Syrian civil war. "Rosaleen of the Damascene" and "Baba" are taken to heaven by "bombs going boom-ba-boom-boom," leaving their children to sing "I guess we'll be raised on our own then / "I want to be with you 'til the world ends."

Broken Bells: "Good Luck"

Angst about the state of the world and society runs through a lot of music these days, and this new single is another example. James Mercer of The Shins and producer Danger Mouse have revived their on-again off-again collaboration and begun work on their third LP. But in the meantime, Mercer says, they wanted to release this track when it felt timely. The lyric gets right to the point: “The face of evil’s on the news tonight / We see the darkness over light / But have we ever really lived in better times?” Rolling Stone writes, "The track gradually intensifies with wordless vocal hooks and psychedelic fuzz guitar, climaxing with a percussive coda."

Mumford & Sons: "Blind Leading The Blind"

This new single was in the works during the sessions for the band's 2018 album Delta, says Marcus Mumford, but "we never got round to finishing in time to put it on the original release. We’re proud that we’ve finally finished it, as it feels like one of the most challenging songs, thematically, that we’ve put out there, both for ourselves and our audience." Although there isn't much sonic resemblance, the track puts us in mind of R.E.M. with its combination of powerful rock and thoughtful-but-enigmatic lyrics: "My generation's stuck in the mirror ... I am not known if I'm not seen or heard."

Half Moon Run: "Favourite Boy"

This single from the Quebec indie-rock band's upcoming third album, A Blemish In The Great Light, is a song of unrequited love: "I know I'm not your favourite boy / I can see it in the way you fake your smile." (Mood-wise, the lyric is evocative of Airborne Toxic Event's "Sometime Around Midnight.") The band's strengths -- multi-layered instrumentation, overlapping and harmonizing vocals and hooky melodies -- are all in top form in this well-crafted piece of pop.