Acrylics – Lives and Treasure CD review

Brooklyn duo Acrylics have made a name for themselves by splitting the difference between two of today’s more prevalent trends in indie music: Instead of falling down a rabbit hole of droney space-rock, or being content with the simplistic and bland croonings of modern alt-pop, Acrylics manage to find a sweet spot somewhere in the middle. LIVES AND TREASURE is the pair’s first full-length, following up their 2009 Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear)-produced EP; and to be sure, “the middle” is where these two seem most comfortable. There’s nothing threatening or the least bit gnarly on tracks like “Tortoise Shell Shades” or “Counting Sheep” (yes, really, “Counting Sheep”), and most of the album is as inviting and comforting as a warm bath of open chords, gentle melodies, and precisely calibrated easiness. Yet, there are moments where it seems like Acrylics are aspiring to Beach House-style swoon (“Sparrow Song”) or even a bit of creaky, acoustic warmth (“It’s Cool Here”), and it’s those moments that help frame the album as something quite less snoozy than the ‘90s adult-oriented alt-pop it sounds like on first blush.

First appeared March 1, 2011 at Shockhound.com.

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