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For Fans Of:
Jack’s Mannequin, fun., Augustana, The Fray

 
Gilbert, Arizona’s Lydia has endured a bit of a tumultuous existence to get them to where they are. From a revolving door of band members, a hard drive crash destroying live concert footage for a planned DVD release and having to overcome a prolonged hiatus, the group has admirably coped with their hardships by doing what they do best: produce amazing music. That trend has certainly continued with their 2013 release, Devil.
 
Devil is a mix of mellow, mellifluous and soulful tunes simply brimming with memorable lines and infectious melodies. The album begins like a slowly ascending aircraft, accumulating speed as the tracks progress into the middle core of, “Back to Bed,” “Holidays,””Hurry Back Tonight,” and, “Take Your Time;” all these tunes overflow with lyrical lynchpins that aid in crafting an infectious section of songs which ultimately culminates in the album’s stunning last track, “From a Tire Swing.” There are no moments of mediocrity on this record whatsoever- but those five songs resonated particularly well with me personally.
 


 
If you are a fan of haunting vocal harmonies, basslines that glide syrupy over driving drums and soaring, ghostly arpeggiated guitar – this band is most definitely a must-hear. Their stellar sense of dynamic brilliantly buoys the light, wafting vocals of front-man Leighton Antelman into the atmosphere, evoking the highpoints of Jimmy Eat World’s most melodic moments.
 
If there is any criticism that can be leveled against the effort (and I’d call it an endorsement, personally) it is that the record is consistently low-key. This isn’t a disc you’d throw on to induce an adrenalin rush. However, as a man who has heartily endorsed and crafted “sad bastard music” for well over a decade I’m inclined to point to this as a seminal strength of the record and the band itself. Their music is beautiful: soothing, ornate and excellently embellished with every subtle orchestration.
 

Emotionally arresting music receives many drubbings for embracing or nurturing depression… but the folks making those claims don’t understand the cathartic aspects of emotional expurgation via song. In the way I’d never want to hear an AC/DC penned-ballad, I definitely don’t feel the need to encounter a club-bumping single from Lydia.
 
The group recently finished up their North American tour for Devil, and are now in preparation to head out on a tour of Australia in support of Cartel this August. As such, the band is definitely back in the swing of things, musically speaking. They will also be featured at the 2013 Riot Fest taking place this September in Colorado, so you should have plenty of opportunities to catch up with the group when they swing back stateside. In the meantime, you can indulge your urges for their brilliant brand of atmospheric indie-rock by upping your play count on Devil. It’s a record that easily sustains multiple listens… if not a string of endless repeats, as it has in my headphones over the past few days.
 
So, in case you missed it… this is a record you certainly need to snag- sharpish. You’ll be very glad you did.
 
 

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Lydia

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