The Daredevil Christopher Wright: In Deference To A Broken Back / Amble Down

There’s some weird shit going on in the minds of The Daredevil Christopher Wright’s songwriters. They’ve seen fit to spill it all out for us—everything from death at the hands of cancer to falling in love with an airline stewardess. Through all this, though, In Deference To A Broken Back maintains a lighthearted and whimsical grin, even when buried in heady subject matter that could easily sink any indie-rock ship faster than a lead keffiyeh.

Even more astonishing is how easily The Daredevil Christopher Wright’s members (none of whom are named Christopher Wright) wrestle with religion. I cringe and moan when I hear the phrase “Christian rock,” but these songs don’t drown in Jesus-freakery. Jesus feels more like an uncomfortable best friend who needs a dollar for a cheeseburger. It’s helped, too, by an impressive dynamic range—everything from driving, frenetic rock tunes to slow acoustic ballads.

I wanted to dislike some of the more saccharine moments, or the melodies and motifs obviously borrowed from bands like the Decemberists and the Arcade Fire. After all, In Deference To A Broken Back is mushy, emotional, and fluffy—all the things nerdy lit-rock is infamous for. But it’s one of the better albums of indie-folk I’ve heard so far this year. It’s not intimidatingly intellectual, nor is it endlessly sappy. Much like youth itself, it’s somewhere in-between.

In A Word: Church