Fools is a damn near-perfect album. From the way singers Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins marry their vocals throughout, to the album’s ebullient yet thoughtful tonal scope, the experience can’t be beat. The rock-stomper “Meadows” is layered with a slightly unhinged piano that gives the track a delightfully off-kilter vibe; “The Cracks” has a dreamy aesthetic that calls to mind early Eisley; and the title track is a catchy piece of glitter grunge that will knock your socks off. “Bullets” is representative of the album as a whole: piano pop sensibility with shades of swaggering New Orleans jazz. The track sounds lighthearted and free until you hear lines like, “I can’t love you like I should/My heart is broke so I can’t bend.” This juxtaposition of moods and feelings keeps the listener interested and guessing at the same time on this clever, wondrous album.
Jenny & Tyler
Of This I’m Sure/Residence Music
Whether it’s the driving, swelling orchestral title track or the gorgeous ambient folk-pop update of fan favorite “Song for You,” Jenny & Tyler’s latest stirs your soul with anthemic music, lyrics that wind their way through your heart and crushing harmonies. Of This I’m Sure explores the complexities of love (“You are a Song”), heartbreak (“Where to Begin”) and loyalty (“Walk with You”), and does so with aplomb. Much of the album is charming and coy, but “When I Meet You” delivers its straightforward message by pairing lines like “When I meet you/All the colors lacking luster/They will shine” in a lullaby about the couple’s daughter. It’s touching without being sappy, and reflects the wonder that accompanies the arrival of new life, that unswerving hold it has on hope.
Bronze Radio Return
Light Me Up/DigSin Records
The latest release from this indie rock outfit is nothing short of a delight, even if the content is not always intended to be delightful. Such juxtaposition is found throughout Light Me Up and stands as one of the album’s greatest strengths. Classic pop numbers such as “Before I Get There” are strewn with thoughtful ruminations like “I do believe/That the measure of a man/Is the length he will go/From the place he began,” and while there is a solid, danceable sensibility on “Only Temporary,” it is anchored by a narrative about the crutches we use or allow ourselves to be. The ebullient title track is reminiscent of Knox Hamilton’s “Work it Out,” while “Nowhere to Be” has the kind of not-quite pop, not-quite folk feel of early Mumford & Sons. Singer and songwriter Chris Henderson casts a wide emotional and lyrical net here, giving the audience something with sonic beauty and complexity.