L Y F
Such a Sad Puppy Dog
14 Crowns for Me & Your Friends
England’s enigmatic WU LYF (World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation, anyone?) pulls off an interesting feat: it merges a roar of discontent with a reassuring embrace, telling us that even though the world is messed up, everything will be okay: we will survive! Singer Ellery Roberts’ sandpapered yelp is similar to Future Island’s Samuel Herring, but Roberts is 90% indecipherable, which doesn’t deter fans from singing along, fists raised in solidarity with whatever it is he’s singing about. (When Roberts yowls a simple phrase like “I wanna feel at home,” it sounds more like “Whaa-fill-ay-yo!”) Actually, the magic of Roberts’ delivery is that an attuned listener quickly gets the gist of his message from the smashing crescendos, mercurial organ notes, and the fluttering guitar chords that go from reedy, chiming solemnity to chatty uplift between bridge and chorus. This isn’t date-night indie pop (though the joyful “We Bros” hints at it); it’s disillusioned protest music, an emotional steam-letting tool, a personal Monday morning resentment soundtrack. Don't be surprised if you end up growling along, waving your Bic lighter in the car on the way to work.