Various Artists

Is This Kindercore

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Athens, GA's Kindercore Records is the purveyor if its own brand of indie pop. Mostly free of the dry cynicism and irony pervading much of the scene, Kindercore instead focuses on sweet, sentimental groups. Since they are based in Athens, there is a large overlap with the east contingent of Elephant 6, the conglomeration of interconnected bands founded by the Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, and others. Is This Kindercore presents tracks from a sizable chunk of the imprint's roster, with 19 tracks from various bands. The Olivia Tremor Control's Bill Doss' the Sunshine Fix project contributes here with "Sounds Around You." Other groups with Elephant 6 connections include Of Montreal, Masters of the Hemisphere, Great Lakes, Dressy Bessy, and the Essex Green. These second-generation Elephant 6 groups are nowhere near as psychedelic as those who came before. Most favor soft-voiced singers, high harmonies, gentle organ swells, flutes, and at least a partially lounge rock set of tones. The songs gravitate toward good-natured love themes. Also contributing are several more electronic-oriented acts -- such as I Am the World Trade Center and Japancakes -- which blend the pleasant tones of the poppier bands with more contemporary beats.