Background music for your main character moment
Canadian indie pop band Kiwi Jr. is back with their second studio album, Cooler Returns. Formed from a self-proclaimed “bible” binder filled with notes, lyrics and ideas, the album is a quick and captivating listen. It’s carried by Jeremy Gaudet’s pleasant voice and the musical stylings of the rest of the band: Brohan Moore on drums, Brian Murphy on guitar and Mike Walker on bass. Cooler Returns is a piece of teen summer fantasy in the middle of January. The indie guitar and nostalgic sound will hook people in, and the charmingly clever lyrics will keep them listening.
The album opens with “Tyler,” which sets the tone for the rest of the songs to follow. Its weirdly specific lyrics–“you work for Microsoft, I scrape the wallpaper off in the new guest bedroom”–and its fast-paced, upbeat sound with notes of harmonica and whistles are a delight to the ears. “Undecided Voters,” a single from the album, is another example of Gaudet’s amazing lyrics. A New York vibe is captured from the first couple of lines all the way to the end with the line “live from Duane Reade,” a distinctly New York pharmacy.
“Highlights of 100” emerges towards the center of the album. It starts off with a fast, rolling drum beat and ends almost as quickly as it begins, coming in at around two and a half minutes. The song was inspired by Hollywood movie sets and how each lot can lead people to a different little world of its own. This concept can even be associated with relationships, spotlighting and highlighting different moments from the relationship after a break up. The title song, “Cooler Returns,” is a giant jumble of words that somehow make sense. The anecdotal lyrics at the beginning of the tune lead the listener into the bizarre world of the song. The track ends with a long guitar melody that swells as it comes to a close.
The end of the album brings listeners to “Norma Jean’s Jacket” and “Waiting in Line,” another single. “Norma Jean’s Jacket” takes a slower approach than the other songs on the album, but barely. A jacket, presumably belonging to Norma Jean, is described as sentimental before leading into the catchy line of the song, “all of your heartache and sorrow…” This song proves that seeing a particular item can send people into a spiral of sentimentality and memories. “Waiting in Line” has a very catchy beat and chorus that leaves an amazing finish to the album. It’s one of the longer songs on the record, about something so seemingly simple as waiting in line.
Cooler Returns provides the soundtrack to a coming of age movie where you’re the main character. It pulls on people’s heartstrings just enough to make them cry but leaves people grateful that they gave it a listen. It’s a mixture of light-hearted and heart-wrenching, which is exactly what growing up feels like.