We Were Evergreen

Towards

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We Were Evergreen's full-length debut, 2014's Towards, is a buoyant, delicately experimental mix of folk-pop and eclectic electronic music. With a sound based around the melodic drive of guitars and keyboards as well as ukulele and harmonized vocals, it would easy to dismiss the Parisian-born/U.K.-based band as purveyors of friendly, light indie pop. That is, of course, if their album wasn't so accomplished and, in its own way, adventurous. Here, We Were Evergreen showcase their knack for delivering engaging, literate lyrics and jazzy, intricate arrangements that somehow find a middle ground between Tom Tom Club-esque '80s new wave and Fleet Foxes-influenced harmonized folk, not to mention Death Cab for Cutie's poignant and twee balladry. Lead vocalist/guitarist Michael Liot has a pleasant, clear-toned style that brings to mind frontmen of such similarly inclined acts as Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig. Of course, as he often harmonizes vocals with his bandmates, keyboardist Fabienne D├ębarre and bassist William Serfass, much of Towards has more of a group-oriented feel. Musically, the group shifts from melodic, Squeeze-influenced blue-eyed soul ("False Start"), to dancey, synthy Afro-pop ("Daughters"), to loungy midtempo dance cuts ("Best Thing") with easy aplomb. Elsewhere, we get the poignant romance of tracks like "Overnight" and the sugary exuberance of the whistle and clap-heavy "Tambourine Like a Crown." Ultimately, on Towards, We Were Evergreen have moved slightly left of the indie pop center and achieved something quite interesting and enjoyable.

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