Dear Nora possesses a charm that—without careful listening—could be mistaken for wide-eyed innocence. On the band’s newest (and apparently final, as they are calling it quits after this tour) album, the SoCal ensemble’s catchy riffs and pearly vocals appear to wash over a listener without inducing bodily harm.
But There is No Home is an album bleeding at the seams. Songs like “Defeated and Lonely” and “The Flats of Irony” blind with lulling bass lines and angelic melodies while the lyrics drown in hopelessness—as if despair means living on a cloud away from the rest of the world, comfortable but still unbearably heartbroken. “Emily” is perhaps the most alluring song, a pop landscape of silky oohing and aahing that bears up starchy lyrics like “Every time I turn around, I’m being burned by Emily.”
Though There is No Home begins and ends with hazier instrumental pieces that don’t add much to the overall effort, the album’s middle is well worth buying into. (Erika Fredrickson)
Dear Nora performs Wednesday, May 16, at Crazy Daisy with Purrbot, Two Year Touque and Old Shoes. 8 PM. $4.