Kill Them With Kindness
Kill Them With Kindness, the debut album from Champaign, Illinois’ Headlights, is indie pop done right. Their sound runs the gamut of pop possibilities without becoming overbearing; they’re progressive without being pretentious. “Your Old Street” kicks of the disc with a regal suite of strings, while a rock undercurrent gradually takes control ushering in sublime baroque pop with the right level of somber and sweet, of nostalgia and melancholy. The trio is at their strongest when they give into propulsive piano-driven songwriting like the wall-of-sound “TV” and the slow-blooming ballad/epic “Put Us Back Together Right” –where Erin Fein’s heavenly keys and Tristan Wraight’s effects-laden guitar act as ethereal foils to Brett Sanderson’s metronomic drumming.
Despite being a “modern” rock band, with enough of the digital trappings to keep their sound on the cusp of contemporary, the group throws in a handful of organic instruments –glockenspiel, melodica, accordion, harmonica– to give their music a human pulse. Paying such close attention to creating a sonic dialectic is what separates Headlights from the rest of the pack and what allows their paradoxical album title to ring all the more true.
Polyvinyl Records: www.polyvinylrecords.com