WHO ARE THEY? A prestigious Los Angeles country-rock quartet fronted by former Beachwood Sparks singer-guitarist Brent Rademaker and featuring current and former members of Chris Robinson Brotherhood, The Cardinals, The Tyde and Hard Working Americans.
WHAT IS THIS? Their third studio album, which also marked the return of lead guitarist Neal Casal, who took his own life at the age of 50 just weeks before the album’s release.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? The latest touchstone in a long line of cosmic American music and Byrdsian jangle-rock that extends from Gram Parsons and Flying Burrito Brothers to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Eternal Flames.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While appreciating both Casal’s stellar, searing fretwork and Rademaker’s top-shelf West Coast songcraft — not to mention his sometimes-uncanny vocal resemblance to Petty.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Relaxed, hazy, jangly, understated, rootsy, sophisticated, shimmery, freewheeling, sincere, nostalgic.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? If you’re looking for rockers, start with I’m So High and Nothing Ever Changes. For gorgeous ballads, try Bad Habits and the tragically prescient Get It Back. Want bouncy pop? Try Unswung. Finally, for the best of Casal, pick any cut.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘This album should have made me happy — but now it just makes me kind of sad.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? At least a couple of these cuts should stick with you for a while.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A PLACE, WHAT PLACE WOULD IT BE? Laurel Canyon.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Let it stream for now. But don’t be surprised if you end up wanting more.