Yes, it has been a long, long time since the last album from Melbourne's The Stevens
. But take it easy on them. If some young men are finding the cure for dread diseases, building safe, diverse and inclusive communities, and negotiating lasting peace, you can't expect them to churn out guitar pop on demand. Admittedly, there is no evidence that the members of the band were engaged in any such activities, but we don't know that they weren't, so perhaps we should cut them some slack. I'm sure they were doing very important things since the release of their debut LP in 2014.
And one of those things is crafting 18 lo-fi gems that we find on Good
, their new album. This record is a heady brew of crunchy Guided By Voices-styled indie rock, Flying Nun-style jangle, '70s prog rock, and Television Personalities arty guitar pop. Or, to put it in simple terms that don't make those of you two drinks into your evening try to sort through the influences, this is varied, melodic, eclectic, soaring, thrilling music with heart, humor and brains. The Stevens
find pop bliss in every corner of their music and burnish it brightly it for their fans. I suppose that it isn't earthshaking news to say that a 18-track album has some good songs. But Good
is rich in really good songs, and suffers no weak ones. In fact, if I were to compile a list of my favorite 30 songs of the year so far, Good
would have several entries. Try a few below, and then ask yourself, should I deny myself pop bliss? I expect you will answer the question correctly. We trust you, we really do.
The Stevens are Travis MacDonald, Alex Macfarlane, Gus Lord, and Matt Harkin. Good will be released by Chapter Music in digital, vinyl and compact disc formats on Friday, July 14.