Standard Fare is a band known for frilly music, a commitment to a unique sound, and dedication to bettering themselves as musicians. On their second full length album, hard work and focused fundamentals bring an average band to new and higher levels of talent. Elements of fun and carefree melodies make “Out of Sight, Out of Town” a fun listen on a dreary winter day.
The line up of the band consists of Emma Kupa, Danny How, and Andy Beswick. The group cooperates as a trio rather than individual talents working together. Kupa’s vocals do not overpower How’s guitar and Beswick’s drums. Often ignored by modern indie pop bands, this delicate balance between instrumentals and vocals makes the sound of Standard Fare a welcomed nuance in a genre overridden by attention hungry singers, overproduced guitar solos, and incessant drum loops. However, the vocals do sometimes steal the show. Kupa and How blend their voices to near perfection, allowing the idiosyncrasies of their voices to shine and compliment the other’s. First seen on “051107” and developed in “Dead Future,” the two singers achieve a level of chemistry that captures the tenderness of childhood best friends. Kupa’s voice, while perhaps lacking in range, disarms listeners on the lead track of the album.
The lyrics lack complex symbolism and achieve blunt meanings instead. Kupa pulls this bluntness off with lyrics like, “Why do you throw away your youth / Like some unwanted melted / There’s no money under the pillow upstairs / There’s no fairy who cares.” It seems all the more poignant coming from a voice that oozes youthful idealism. Overall, the album shines with songs like “The Look of Lust,” “Suitcase,” and “Darth Vader.” These tracks stand out as the songs that best capture the deceivingly lighthearted sound of Standard Fare.
The album closes with “Crystal Palatial,” a song that yearns for a summer day driving the back roads of the country. Only containing twelve songs, the album structures itself to weave through the inner workings of the minds of the band. Probably one of the best indie albums of the last five years, hopefully the trend of “Out of Sight, Out of Town” continues with the future works of Standard Fare.
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