WHO ARE THEY? That Cincinnati indie-rock band all your coolest friends worship — but you’ve never really been able to get into them no matter how hard you try (though you always pretend to like them).
WHAT IS THIS? Their easy-to-love eighth album and the companion piece to a 24-minute film by indie director Mike Mills (no, not the R.E.M. guy). It also features plenty of post-rock textures and electronics, along with a slate of female guest vocalists including Lisa Hannigan, Sharon Van Etten, Mina Tindle, Gail Ann Dorsey and Kate Stables.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Duets from a romantic robot-themed musical set in the near future.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While sipping a craft beer (or perhaps a glass of red wine) and nibbling on some artisanal snacks.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Artsy, stylish, glitchy, skewed, multi-layered, thoughtful, melancholy, intellectual, enigmatic, complicated.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? You Had Your Soul With You, The Pull of You, Hey Rosey and Rylan do a decent job of integrating the human elements with all the avant-garde elements— and without totally sacrificing the rock.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK? That you’re trying to impress all your coolest friends.
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? When those friends come over.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A CAR, WHAT KIND OF CAR WOULD IT BE? A Smart car.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Stream, of course. But only through your virtual assistant.