THE SEA AND CAKE

Everybody (Thrill Jockey)

Since their inception in the mid-'90s, Chicago indie-pop group the Sea and Cake have flown slightly below the radar, always avoiding the hype meter, while amassing a genuine following. It's perhaps this sense of being about to break on a mainstream level that encourages the group to craft dreamily brilliant albums every few years that blow all the newer indie-pop records out of the water. Everybody, the follow-up to 2003's beloved One Bedroom, is no exception, collecting 10 clean, shimmering tracks that resound with the skilled musicianship of singer/guitarist Sam Prekop and his bandmates. "Middlenight" prances and lilts through a haze of plucked guitars, gently chugging beats and Prekop's hushed, aching vocals, while "Exact to Me" offers a more jazzy backdrop, with a swiftly dancing melody juxtaposed with Prekop's quiet moan. The whole effect is a graceful, charming record. The dulcet, compelling songs showcased on this disc make the road of life feel like an effortless jaunt through a sunny meadow.

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