The Bones of What You Believe will release on September 23rd in the midst of the band’s heavy touring schedule. Below is the album’s first single, “Gun”, followed by “Recover” from their Recover EP of earlier this year.
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“All the songs here have one foot firmly planted in pop territory, but the tracks that reach further into club territory work just as well. ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’, with its looped vocal sample, might be the most potent gallon of dancefloor fuel on the record, while Howard Lawrence’s surprisingly smooth performance on ‘F for You’ keeps things sultry enough for a particular kind of dancing.”—Corey Beasley
The best parts of Akron/Family‘s Sub Verses exist nicely in this space between comfort and the unknown, between growing and looking back on what you’ve done. “Whole World is Watching” is a sweaty, bluesed-out shuffle. It’s playful, the sound of friends dancing their way through the late hours of a house party, but the metallic echo the vocals are soaked in hint at some distant want, some need to break free they once had but are now, perhaps, setting aside in favor of community. “Until the Morning” is the clearest example of the notion of shelter here, a much more intimate exchange between two people dealing with past hurt, one at the door of the friend, the other inviting that visitor in. There’s a familiarity—“just throw your coat down anywhere”—but the greatest trick the song pulls off is how its early quiet feels awkward, even reticent, until the song blooms into mutual comfort, recognition of a long-built bond.—Matthew Fiander
And’s here’s another one heading in a different direction…
The best love songs belie their sentimental affection with thinly veiled layers of desperation or obsession. Take Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man”, where the songwriter betrays his creepy devotion with promises like “I’ll examine every inch of you,” or Prince’s “If I Was Ur Girlfriend”, in which the Purple One channels his lovesick obsession into envy of the intimacy his girlfriend shares with her female friends.
The latest entry in this tradition is “Other Boys”, the fantastic climax of Eleanor Friedberger’s aptly titled Personal Record. (The Fiery Furnaces vocalist these days has a knack for moving penultimate tracks—2011’s Last Summer had “Owl’s Head Park”, the singer’s richly woven tribute to the spacious Brooklyn park.) “Other Boys” may well be the world’s (or at least this decade’s) most quietly heartbreaking ode to polyamory, as Friedberger tackles a laundry list of “other girls” her partner is seeing—“the blond who’s in a band with her twin,” “the spider you kissed in her stairwell”—over a sly waltz, her voice growing increasingly desperate during the song’s chorus refrain: “There are other boys, too / But don’t let it worry you.”