Veronica Falls set the bar high with their 2011 self-titled debut, an exemplary collection of foggy indie-pop with rambunctious guitars, cartoonishly gothic sentiments and a restless heart. On their charming second album, Waiting For Something To Happen, the U.K. quartet stands up even straighter and smooth out any lingering wrinkles. Produced by Rory Attwell (The Vaccines, Male Bonding), the record is a confident and clear-eyed throwback to a time when strummy ’80s college rock ruled the underground. “Tell Me” has the crispness and buoyancy of an early R.E.M. song, while the deliberate “Shooting Star” channels the unsettled beauty of Throwing Muses. Vocalist Roxanne Clifford also sounds far more self-assured; her lilting soprano soars and dips around the band’s hypnotic male background harmonies, especially on the Lush/New Order hybrid “If You Still Want Me.”
Veronica Falls’ knack for smartly addressing familiar themes — ennui, romantic confusion and loneliness, to name a few — remains strong on Waiting. The title track chides someone for their inertia (“Everybody’s crazy/ What’s your excuse, baby?”), “Everybody’s Changing” struggles with accepting change and “Last Conversation” is a proper album-ender, a bittersweet declaration of a broken relationship. Still, Waiting possesses a stubborn optimistic streak despite its angst, which neutralizes any melancholy and adds jolts of extra energy. It all adds up to a lovely, enduring album which cements Veronica Falls as one of the best indie-pop bands going.