Morella's Forest Tiny Lights of Heaven

Sugary sweet bedroom pop fare straight out of Dayton, OH, the third full-length (and first on Endearing) for this three-guy, one-gal quartet is filled to the brim with soothing vocals and lilting melodies. Not quite bubblegum, with its mellow tone and introspective lyrics, fans of Ivy, the Cardigans and Juliana Hatfield will be in, well, heaven when they hear Tiny Lights of Heaven. The titles tell all that you need to know about the subject matter: "Lullaby," "Shining Stars," "Gentle Go the Hours," "Love is Blind," etc. Sydney Rentz has a lovely voice, and her esoteric lyrics can be dreamy, at times, yet they can also grow to be simple and sappy after long listening periods. The pace picks up from the balladry once in a while, like on starter "Running" and "Some Other Times," and that's when the notable hook-laden tunes come in. Produced by Keith Cleversley (Flaming Lips, Low), this album shows glimpses of Morella's Forest's self-admitted and unabashed '80s influence with some slight flashes of synth tastefully used to highlight the laidback pop sound. (Endearing)