Smith Westerns Soft Will

Smith WesternsSoft Will
After the overwhelming success of their 2011 sophomore LP, Dye it Blonde, collegiate-aged indie-rock three-piece Smith Westerns are back and better than ever with Soft Will. Leaving behind the sputtering garage rock and Marc Bolan-esque guitar lines of their youth, Soft Will finds the Chicago, IL natives moving away from the washed-out haziness originally found on Blonde in favour of expansive synthesizers and refined song structures to create what is their most dynamic album to date. But old fans of the group need not worry. The dual songwriting team of Cullen Omori and Max Kakacek continue to maintain the youthful exuberance and carefree whimsy reminiscent of their early basement recordings on tracks like album opener "3 a.,m. Spiritual" and "Glossed." But seven years into their career, whether it's delivering thoughtful piano ballads on "XXIII" or slow-burning pop on "Best Friend," Smith Westerns have never sounded so comfortable in their own skin. Surprisingly, the most memorable part of it all comes at the end with "Varsity," a nostalgic '90s dream pop tune that finds the band perfectly capturing the romantic realism they've been striving for all this time. (Mom + Pop)