You may feel like standing under a dreary layer of clouds, watching monstrous waves crash back and forth on an empty shoreline after listening to Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist’s first track. “Visage Sans and the Expressionist” eerily emanates the gothic mood of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes,” but for those who feel burdened by the tragic, emo-saturated tunes of today’s indie-rockers, don’t be fooled by this opener. Krist Krueger’s songwriting craftiness is bound to boost your spirits with later, more hopeful melodies.
“How to Be a Dreamer,” one of the album’s lightest tracks, induces a slow head-nod with its rhythmic, almost cutesy beats. It’s The Shins meets Plain White T’s, especially when the chorus delves into a continuous, “Do, do-do-do-do-doo, you go do…”
Because of Krueger’s mature vocals and the band’s instrumental variation, it’s somewhat surprising that the album repeats the refreshing indie-pop lightness of “How to Be a Dreamer” in a later track, “Cold Caller.” Although both songs demonstrate inarguable agility, the recurring “do-do” chorus line detracts from the band’s warrant for originality.
All repetition aside, Southerly maintains a sturdy balance between instrumental and lyrical astuteness.
Southerly plays Hausfrau Clothing Saturday, July 26, at 8 PM. The Pegasus Party opens. All ages. $3–$5 suggested donation.