CD Reviews: Saturday Looks Good To Me, Alpine
‘One Kiss Ends It All’
Saturday Looks Good To Me
When Michigan-based indie-pop project Saturday Looks Good To Me regrouped in 2012, it was a welcome but weird experience. The meta-nostalgia of revisiting a beloved early-2000s band that drew its inspiration from the wavering mini-symphonies of the ’60s girl-group era was strange, but few bands are able to transmit so precise a mood, and it was easy to slide back into Saturday’s charms. Their fifth full-length proves bandleader Fred Thomas to be a premier ambassador of a strain of small-town romanticism, the sort of aimless, after-school yearning captured so elegantly in the TV show “Freaks and Geeks,” where the world is so small a single kiss really can mean everything. New vocalists and players grace the band’s echoing guitar sound with modern textures, notably on “Polar Bear.”
‘A Is For Alpine’
The sneaky magic of Aussie indie poppers Alpine is bound up in the frictionless mix of dual vocalists Phoebe Baker and Lou James. The atmosphere generated by their voices coats the debut of the Melbourne sextet, whose sprightly high-gloss pop — while not mind-blowing — is executed so simply and well that one overlooks the similarity of the tracks, and sees the way they dissolve into one another as a feature rather than a flaw. In a spring of dour, high-profile releases, “A” is an antidote for heaviness, and a reliable companion for the earbudded masses roving for something smart and pleasant to pass the time.