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And The Kids
Northampton-based indie pop heroes And the Kids released their sophomore album this past June. It’s the same kind of dreamy, melodic rock they delivered on their first album, but this time everything feels a little more polished and lacks a bit of the youthful chaos that characterized their first album, Turn to Each Other. The new album is a richly layered and dense tapestry of sound, alternately sunny and shadowy. Vocalist Hannah Mohan’s voice shines once again with lyrics that amount to a thoughtful meditation on friendship, love, and family as a modern twenty-something: topics that have surely been on their minds a lot since the recent deportation of Canadian band member and close friend Megan Miller (keyboard, percussion). Rebecca Lasaponaro’s energetic drums complement Mohan’s haunting, dreamy vocals and keep the album moving at a pace that will make you want to jump around the room. Standout tracks are “Kicks Rocks,” the album’s punchy opener, which segues into “I Dropped Out,” a melodic, ethereal head-bobber with a moodier feel.
And The Kids plays Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Saturday Oct. 29. Follow the band at andthekids.com.
— Peter Vancini
4 SONGS EP
Indie rockers Wild Pink debut their second EP in anticipation of their first full length album, set to come out in early 2017. According to the band, 4 Songs “serves as a pivot from the raw, driving power of their earlier output to a more taut and atmospheric sound.” Their first single, “4th of July,” stays true to this new aesthetic: dreamy guitar riffs accompany wispy vocals, creating an indie folk song that evokes feelings of a surrealist summer night. The next three songs depart from this surrealist atmosphere and showcase a more hi-fi indie rock sound, with stronger vocals and instrumentals.
Multiple influences can be heard throughout the EP. “4th of July” connects with the songs of Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens, while influences from artists like Nirvana can be heard on tracks like “The Believer.” But despite that, Wild Pink has found a way to keep a unique sound throughout the album. Combining this with raw lyrics conveys a feeling everyone can relate to, evoking not just a singular experience, but a feeling and mood.
Wild Pink plays Red Cross House in Amherst on Saturday Oct. 29. Follow the band at facebook.com/wildpinkwildpink.
— Kyle Olsen
Don’t be fooled by the unfamiliar name — Sad13 is the new moniker for Sadie Dupuis, the frontwoman for Northampton grunge-pop band Speedy Ortiz. Dupuis set out to make a “kick-ass, empowering, and insanely fun debut solo album,” and judging just by the three tracks released so far — the full album drops Nov. 11 — she arrives ready to knock it out of the park.
“Get A Yes,” a cheeky song about consent, kicks and stomps like good electro-pop should, with mangled synths and a runaway drum machine tugging at the corners of the sweet and simple vocal track from Dupuis, whose plaintive voice evokes Jenny Lewis at nearly every turn (that’s a compliment, naturally). The single “<2” takes a page from the Rilo Kiley playbook as well, with hooky melodies playfully layered with loopy bass lines, crunchy guitars, beeps, bells, and a martial patter of drums (also check out the music video, which spoofs a YouTube makeup tutorial, then goes delightfully off the rails).
“Devil in U,” perhaps the most soulful single, takes a brassy, pouting turn toward the kind of scrap-metal confessional that studio maestros like Beck have turned into career-long bread and butter. Sad13’s contribution is rich and filling as well. As NPR Music put it, these are “intimate pop songs that don’t stray far from the weirdly liberating confines of a tiny room.” Which is fortunate, because Sad13’s next show in Northampton plays in an itty-bitty studio at 13 King Street — some truly cozy quarters for such a big-dreaming artist.
Sad13 plays Queen 13 on King Street in Northampton on Nov. 16. Follow the band at facebook.com/sadthirteen.
— Hunter Styles