Gold-Bears, Dalliance

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 06.03.14 in Reviews

Jeremy Underwood, the singer and main songwriter behind Atlanta’s Gold-Bears, cut his teeth with sadly overlooked Elephant Six disciples Plastic Mastery, but he finally started drawing broader attention in the past few years, most prominently with 2011′s fizzy Are You Falling in Love? The album, Underwood’s first release for iconic indie-pop label Slumberland Records, must have felt like a homecoming of sorts for a soul who likely grew up mail-ordering vinyl seven-inches in the 1990s.

Brightening the twee-punk corners while grappling with painful breakup

Gold-Bears’ sophomore album Dalliance brightens the band’s corners even as it grapples with bleaker themes lyrically, all without leaving behind Underwood’s time-honed noise-pop aesthetic. On opener “Yeah, Tonight” he duets with Emma Kupa of defunct London indie-poppers Standard Fare, and the lyrics turn on the bracing admission: “I guess I never loved you anyway.” A painful breakup again turns into a nervy burst of energy on piano-laced “For You.” And within Gold-Bears’ relatively narrow niche, there’s still a welcome stylistic breadth, as evidenced on the blurry, percussion-free “I Hope They’re Right.” If the Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s new one was a little too polished for you, or Fear of Men’s a bit too languid, this could what you were looking for.