The Cactus Blossoms

Easy Way

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Easy Way seems to be an appropriate title for the sophomore set from the Cactus Blossoms, a Minneapolis-based brotherly duo who make no effort to disguise their enduring debt to the Everly Brothers. Like You're Dreaming before it, Easy Way leans into harmonies that recall Don and Phil, supporting this soft, supple blend with sounds that evoke a time before the Beatles. Unlike its 2016 predecessor, this 2019 album does nod toward the present, with the duo singing about pocket computers on the lively "Please Don't Call Me Crazy" and lamenting low wages on "Downtown," a song that conjures ghosts of the Petula Clark hit of the same name. Far from breaking the Cactus Blossoms' retro spell, these lyrics underscore how the group isn't content with re-creating the past. Rather, the duo is intent on extending a tradition, constructing songs with elements culled from a shared vocabulary and then finding emotional undercurrents that make their songs seem alive. Because the Cactus Blossoms move steadily and gracefully, they make this fusion seem easy, but that's a trick: Their music is subtly crafted and deeply felt, which means that for as comforting as Easy Way feels upon its first listen, it has the depth to not only last but improve with subsequent spins.

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