The Dodos are an indie rock band from San Francisco comprised of core members, Meric Long and Logan Kroeber, who’ve been playing together since the early 2000s. Their music has always been characterized by an obvious emphasis on percussion and complex rhythmic structures, in this way they’ve definitely established a style that’s recognizably all their own. The Dodos’ newest release, Individ, finds them staying true to these roots, and the resulting sound is razor sharp, with an urgency and intensity that make their songs utterly addictive to listen to.
I could say that Villagers make folk music, but their sound is so much broader than that term allows for. Traditional folk or not, they are an Irish quintet from Dublin fronted by singer-songwriter Conor O’Brien (who probably sports the most stereotypically Irish name I’ve ever heard). Although the instrumentals are incredibly engaging and interesting, the centerpiece and crown jewel of Villagers’ music has to be O’Brien’s poetic prowess. He clearly wears his heart on his sleeve, something that becomes apparent from the get-go. Despite this, his lyrics never come off as tired or trite, instead he offers an earnest—albeit dark—insight into the human experience. When he timidly sings lines like, “We got good at pretending, then pretending got us good” and “When the one thing you live for is the one thing you lack, you say ‘how did I get here, am I ever gonna get back’,” it tugs at something deep within you, forcing you to contemplate your life.