Headlights shine bright with Some Racing, Some Stopping. The Illinois-based trio recorded and self-produced their latest CD in an old Midwestern farmhouse, emerging with a well-crafted album full of toe-tapping songs that manage to be folksy and ethereal at the same time. It may be short and sweet (it’s just over 33 minutes) but it’s enough to make a listener want more.The opening track, “Get Your Head Around It,” is sublime, with dreamy, spacey vocals, electronic guitar effects and synthesized orchestration, much like the magical sound that defines The Polyphonic Spree. What follows is highly enjoyable yet just short of amazing. There’s nothing unlikeable about Headlights and their music but their sound is not so unique as to stand out and rise above the din of other younger artists.
Erin Fein and Tristan Wraight share vocals on tracks like the likeable “Catch Them All” and “Cherry Tulips.” Both songs have an optimistic aw-shucks quality with vocals set to lively guitar and percussion. The upbeat “On April 2” manages to sound a little nostalgic, due in large part to the drums that sound much like a ’60s-era band playing live, rather than something produced in a studio.
Fein sounds much like indie darling Feist, especially on the introspective “Some Racing Some Stopping” and “So Much for the Afternoon.” These standout tracks are hypnotic, enveloping the listener in dreamy vocals set to minimal arrangements.
With an opening that alludes to greatness, Headlights merely achieves goodness. Still, Some Racing Some Stopping is refreshing and well worth checking out.