Mussels 

Little Voices (Self-Released)

There is something about Brooklyn’s Mussels that’s distinctly throwback. It’s not their sound, exactly, but their approach to being a New York City band in 2007. With the lovingly silk-screened cardboard packaging and their impeccably tasteful production style, you start to wonder if it might be 1995 again — and in all the best ways. Little Voices does spark comparisons to Built to Spill, for the ringing, elaborate guitar work and the vague bounciness of the whole thing, but it’s also driven by a strange and refreshing yearning for both simplicity and complexity, meaning essentially that you’re dealing with infectious pop songs that occasionally give way to frantic, jumpy song structures and unexpected arrangements. It’s fun, smart pop music that can be appreciated as easily by those merely looking to dance as by those looking to geek out about awesome guitar parts. It’s a tough balance to strike, and Mussels have done an excellent job.

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