Eight years, one full-length album, multiple seven-inch singles and thousands of miles amassed between dingy basement shows and dusty VFW Halls, Kent, Ohio’s Annabel have finally amounted enough material and most importantly, life experience, to justify the release of their sophomore LP, Youth In Youth. Pulling together elements of anthemic power-pop (“Young American”), lithe post-rock (“Home”) and intricate, albeit delicate and melodic guitar work (“You Could Be Living Better”), this unassuming Midwestern quartet have managed to compile the events leading to this moment—the long drives, crumbling relationships and longing to do better—into a delightful year-end surprise.
At its worst, Youth in Youth can be rendered a homage to emo’s most seminal groups in the Promise Ring, Built to Spill and American Football. At its best—a more fitting interpretation—this record is Annabel’s best work yet, a truly timeless collection of raw and introspective songs whose warm tonalities and heart-on-their-sleeve lyricism is one that will likely reside within the ranks of obscure and dilated indie rock for years to come.
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