Lives and Treasures

Friendly Fire Records

Shhh. Quiet. Keep it down. This disc of low-key pop and romantic melody is walking very quietly, trying to avoid that one floorboard that squeaks.

“Counting Sheep” moves backward from somnolence to happy wakefulness — it’s like one of those days when you just wake up happy and nothing will spoil it. This duo, Molly Shea and Jason Klauber, unites to spin out a steady stream of masterful tunes, each holding just enough angst to make the smiles work when whatever spat just upset you fades from memory. “Sparrow Song” is a good example — Molly becomes a small bird, takes symbolic flight, and finds an open window, alighting in a soft-focused love that seems completely reasonable. “Tortoise Shell Shades” sounds retro but showcases Klauber’s vocals over a steel guitar that wanders in and out, adding an iconic country sound but never straying from the groove that defines this collection.

Are these two a couple, or just musical partners? That’s the fun part of the record; we sense a sexual tension but can’t decide if it’s Max and Agent 99 or Scully and Mulder. I’d stick around to find out what happens.

Friendly Fire Records:

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