The Sky Report has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks. To view the post you came here for, simply search the artist name in the sidebar at the new site!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

HEADLIGHTS - Some Racing, Some Stopping 80%

Indie pop band Headlights return with their sophomore LP Some Racing, Some Stopping, the follow-up to their 2006 debut Kill Them With Kindness. Led by the male/female duo of Tristan Wraight and Erin Fein, Headlights hail from Champaign, Illinois, a moderate-sized farm town located about 135 miles south of Chicago. Written and recorded entirely in Wraight’s isolated farmhouse outside Champaign, Some Racing, Some Stopping has an auburn-tinged tone that makes it the perfect soundtrack to these chilly days of winter.

The album begins with the slow burning anthem, “Get Your Head Around It”. The delicate opening strains gently pull you into a dream-like story, before bells, drums and “ooh-ooh’s” build into a swell. Wraight sings about overcoming those pesky mistakes that humans are so prone to, urging one, possibly himself, to swallow the past and march on. With its marching band crescendo, the track tells the same story musically.

The album’s first single, “Cherry Tulips”, perhaps best highlights the band’s knack for boy-girl harmonies. The hyper-romantic track showcases Fein’s gorgeous angelic voice, one that’s rich with delicate nuances beneath the fragile sweetness.

“I want the sea,
I want the whole sea
For you and me
For you and me”

Guitars lovingly swim around Fein’s voice, before embodying a very effective high-pitched slide loop at the climax that instantly recalls the Talking Heads.

On the topic of influence, it would be hard not to mention the occasionally distinctive similarity in style to that of the New Pornographers, or even a more lighthearted Arcade Fire. The frequent use of coed harmonies, slow-building anthems, and meticulous storytelling makes the comparison most notable on the driving third track “Market Girl”, which utilizes sleigh bells, instantly catchy hooks, and a euphoric guitar solo as Wraight reminisces:

”I remember I was five,
sitting, watching fire in the sky;
when it was easier for me to feel
different on the 4th of July
And the fireworks,
they’d always make me cry”

The elements embodied by Headlights come together most seamlessly on “Catch Them All”, a stand-out track that amazingly builds into a sort of epic tour de force in well under three minutes. The track is the closest thing here to resemble the blistering rock ‘n’ roll heights of Kill Them With Kindness.

Some Racing, Some Stopping is a solid improvement on their first record, showing a maturity and a grace that is bound to grab many new fans in the coming year. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Headlights become an indie major in the months ahead.

Some Racing, Some Stopping is available now on Polyvinyl Records.

Originally published at

No comments: