The Pale

Gravity Gets Things Done

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As pretty and melodic as indie pop can be, its practitioners often couch pop/rock flourish and hooks in layers of purposeful art damage, or style points impenetrable to the common man. The Pale moves in a different direction, funneling the cutesy romantic sensibilities of types like Tullycraft into utterly un-ironic pop music akin to Wheat or the Push Kings. They don't try for much more than an attractive progression, plenty of warm keys, and charmingly soft vocals from Gabe Archer -- they don't need to. "Reasons to Try" does rock tense, crunchy distortion in a nod to early Get Up Kids, but even here there are "Ba ba bah"'s in the chorus. Similarly, despite its wiry and throbbing urgency, the title track turns on Archer's wavering affirmation, "I will wait here darling/To make sure you are okay." Somebody get this guy a box of Puffs! The giddy, irresistible "Wake Up Call," "Big Dumb Smile"'s tale of teenage mischief, "Trash"'s Luna references -- these are the best moments on Gravity Gets Things Done. They clarify how happy the Pale is just to be here, how this is about making us feel good, not just exclusive or cool.

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