Story Hunt

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Biography's home-brewed indie rock has been maturing since their 2012 debut album, boom.period, and 2016's Story Hunt manages to sound richer and more fully-formed than their earlier work without losing touch with the rickety charm that's at the heart of their music. There are a few portions of new sounds and voices added to the formula for Story Hunt, including a small helping of horns and woodwinds throughout, and a chorus of enthusiastic children (and parents) on the celebration of Saturday morning cartoons, "The More You Know." But what worked best about Biography in the past is what works best about Story Hunt -- the tunes follow odd angles at times, but they're legitimately tuneful and engaging, and there's a heart and humanity to this music that's genuinely winning. Biography write songs about the stuff of ordinary lives -- life's victories and failures, love when it works and when it doesn't, the joys of a good bowl of cereal, and remembering the goofball who coached the track team. There's no irony in their lyrics, but there's also a welcome lack of sentimental sap, approaching the seemingly uncool with a down-to-earth intelligence and compassion. The performances on Story Hunt match the feel of the lyrics just about perfectly -- in a genre where studied cool is usually the order of the day, there's a warmth and sense of play in Story Hunt's music that meshes with their regular guy spirit. And though this music is far from sloppy, the rougher textures give the songs a quality not unlike homemade bread as opposed to the rubbery stuff from the chain store. Biography are real, honest, and fun, and Story Hunt is a fine showcase of the good things they have to offer.

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