Good Morning are rulebreakers. Not in a sexy, flamboyant way – more in a casual, resigned kind of way. Accidental and incidental rulebreakers. The creation and release of their sixth album, Barnyard, is the result of a process of patient refinement and the breaking of a couple of self-imposed rules. Thoughtful, catchy, idiosyncratic, and nearly twice the average length of their back catalogue, it’s all the things one might love about Good Morning, this time around presented with the fat trimmed and the edges sharpened. Recorded at Wilco’s famed studio The Loft, for the first time in a long time the record was made with the help of an outside engineer and will see an international release on a record label not operated by a friend, but instead, Polyvinyl, joining the likes of Alvvays, Julia Jacklin, STRFKR, Kero Kero Bonito and more. A milestone in the history of the band it’s also their most meditative record, thoughtful and careful in its evocations. Not too little and not too much, it’s just right – just Good Morning.
PACKS make music that’s like leafing through a diary entry of a time without visible movement, a subtle beauty that appears only when paying close attention. Initially a solo songwriting project of Link’s, whose keen lyricisms are a standout among her peers, the band is also comprised of Shane Hooper (drums), Noah O’Neil (bass), and Dexter Nash (lead guitar). Anchored by Link’s voice, which brings such an easy charm to her songs that it’s easy to miss her keen ear for acrobatic vocal lines, together they turn Link’s melodically adventurous and introspective songs into the purest and brightest kind of indie rock. The band’s debut is a collection of songs that marry the loose but incisive jangle of early Pavement with the barbed sweetness of Sebadoh and the wide-eyed wonder of the first Shins LP.
Take the Cake is an enchanting record with a transportive quality. The songs communicate Link’s perspective acutely, with details that stand out in their specificity yet feel naturally at ease with melody and a loose charm that make the album feel timeless, like one that could have emerged from any of a number of golden ages of indie rock. PACKS’ songs have a way of creeping up on you, and showing new depth with each listen. Be it a subtle harmony, a zig-zagging melodic turn, or Link’s lyrics, which wring a commandeering poetry out of every-day building-blocks as she navigates the growing pains that linger beyond adolescence. Call it world-building on a miniature scale: a more apt way to describe it would be a careful collaging, making sense of catastrophic loss and tiny signposts that point to something greater than the sum of its parts.
Now based between Toronto and Montreal, the band is working towards their anticipated second record and are playing SXSW with more new material on the way.
* This show has been moved to DC9. All previously purchased tickets will be honored at the new venue.
1940 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001