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
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