Every Scene Needs a Center

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Tullycraft have never sounded more confident than on their fifth album, Every Scene Needs a Center. While the songs are as cheeky and light-hearted as ever, the band plays with a level of power and spunk previous records never quite achieved. Songs like the instantly hooky "Georgette Plays a Goth" and "The Neutron" actually rock in ways you might not expect from Tullycraft, and the rest of the record sounds like the work of a group with a solid grasp of the qualities that make for a positive listening experience (dynamics, variation, energy, imagination). Like on their previous album, Disenchanted Hearts Unite, the band matches its exciting sound to a batch of songs that range from silly ("The Lonely Life of the UFO Researcher") to emotionally wrenching ("One Essex Girl"), with lyrics that drop inside dope on indie rock, talk of vampires, and tell complex tales that reference Plato. Vocalists Sean Tollefson and Jenny Mears manage to pull off this wide range of lyrics by sounding like the two brainiest kids in school having their revenge at the talent show. Apart from "Georgette," which should be a staple of indie disco nights, the song that stands out most is the final track. "We Know You're Cute, You Told Us" is indie pop musical theater complete with bubbly piano; references to April Stevens, Porter Wagoner, and a blood-soaked Frank Sinatra; and a kind of deeply felt emotional foundation not too many indie pop bands even attempt to project. Every Scene Needs a Center is more proof that Tullycraft aren't just a cute, twee pop band. They are goofy at times to be sure, but at their core, no matter how amusing or obscure the lyrics, they are singing about real life.

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