American High create an album of different moods using the same tools. These tools — the acoustic guitar lines, the Jayhawks-esque folky vocals, the upbeat rock melodies often paired with darker lyrics — work to cover a spectrum of feelings. “Moon” weaves optimism into an increasingly emotionally complex world, the indie softness of “September” creates a political track, and “Forgive + Forget You” asks for destruction in the wake of heartbreak. See? There’s a little of everything, and something for everyone.
What ties the tracks on Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement together is the skillful acoustic guitar lines and often bouncy melodies. You can even hear some Beatles influence on “Sister, Don’t Believe It”, which quickly becomes an album highlight. Even when the album plays with larger, more electric sounds (“Sensei”, “Berty’s Never Gone”) there is an underlying subtlety and a lack of individual spotlight-stealing. Every element works in harmony.
If you’re looking for some old school indie-rock (a genre that is increasingly relying on electronics and effects) and modern-day song structure playfulness, American High have your new favourite album.