“Whatever happens, there’s money in the mattress. Whatever happens, just remember all the laughter.” That couplet from the first song on this self-titled debut album sums up the whole thing: It’s firmly and joyously rooted in Americana and folk and indie, and every song is a winner. It’s a music party. It’s your friends playing in the basement (only much, much better).

When I researched this album, I found a bunch of pompous critics dissing it. What the fuck? This is great! This is what music is supposed to be! I mean, sure, the song “Sheep” is a little self-righteous and heavy handed, but it’s still a solid effort. It feels very 1960s, full of the same wide-open hope of the Summer of Love. But yeah, the band is best on love songs and freedom and fun. I’m more than willing to let them get a little political to get a beautiful ballad like Julia or the lead single, Silver Lining.

Lighten up guys. Debuts like this are the reason bloggers like me stay in the business.

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