Ages and Ages

Me You They We

(Partisan Records)

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of the Portland-based indie rock collective known as Ages and Ages. Led by primary songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Tim Perry, the group is a grand mixture of introspective lyricism, twee-via-Polyphonic-Spree-style singalong choruses and sparkly guitars.

On the band’s latest outing, Me You They We, the production quality is simply outstanding without ever getting in the way of the songwriting. A tad hazier, perhaps, than either Divisionary (2014) or the bands previous LP, 2017’s Something to Ruin, the new record is also perhaps a bit tighter, melodically, while at the same time being a touch bouncier than previous efforts. Listen to the way the rhythm jumps along on tracks like “Just My Luck,” buoyed by a vamping piano that propels the song forward in a very Sean Lennon-esque method.

Other standouts include lead single “Needle and Thread” and “How it Feels,” where we again hear Perry using his upper register (more common throughout Me You They We than on anything the band’s put out before) in a successful effort to add an ethereal quality to an already dreamlike sound. This type of sonic aesthetic would be right at home in the record collection of any Kyle Andrews fan.

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On the whole, Me You They We is a remarkable effort – a mature album by a band that’s definitely locked into a signature sound without being confined by its limitations. An album that’s at once familiar and still full of exciting musical surprises. No matter how you slice it, this is in all likelihood the best collection of songs we’re heard all year, and as it stands, is the frontrunner for top album of 2019. In case it needed to be explicitly stated even further, Me You They We earns our highest recommendation.

Follow the band on Twitter @AgesandAges

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