Editors’ Notes Though Chicago's Smith Westerns continue to expand their sound far away from their lo-fi beginnings, they haven't lost the wistful longing that makes their music such a serious headgame. Layers of instrumentation add some high-class psychedelia to the final instrumental pieces of "XXIII," which starts like The Beach Boys gone sadcore before the final Pink Floyd–like grandstand, all in four and a half minutes. Producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Wavves) keeps the soft-focus lens on the group, giving such powerful pop exercises as "Fool Proof" and "Best Friend" an endearing sense of mystery that requires dozens of replays to fully appreciate the depths of emotion and harmonic weaving. "White Oath" shows a touch of John Lennon–to–Oasis balladry in its soothing early-morning gait. "Cheer Up" takes everyone back to the sockhop for a last dance before "Varsity" sends us on our way with another nostalgic look back to a past that few have had but many wish could be their own.

SONG
3AM Spiritual
1
4:23
 
Idol
2
4:14
 
Glossed
3
3:06
 
XXIII
4
4:28
 
Fool Proof
5
4:26
 
White Oath
6
4:03
 
Only Natural
7
3:49
 
Best Friend
8
3:48
 
Cheer Up
9
2:45
 
Varsity
10
4:00
 

Music Videos

  • Varsity
    Varsity
    Smith Westerns

More by Smith Westerns

Albums You May Also Like

  • Slow Summits
    Slow Summits
    The Pastels
  • MCII
    MCII
    Mikal Cronin
  • Empire
    Empire
    GRMLN
  • Monomania
    Monomania
    Deerhunter
  • The Sun Dogs
    The Sun Dogs
    Rose Windows
  • Empty Estate
    Empty Estate
    Wild Nothing
  • Secret EP
    Secret EP
    Sebadoh