Even though the name of this band is Night Driving in Small Towns (lame), I preferred to listen to this album driving around on a sunny day last week. Actually, I think the music on Serial Killer is some of the least depressing indie stuff I’ve heard lately. It’s not uplifting, necessarily, but cautiously optimistic and inquisitive and uncertain, like the year right after college ends, which is the time period I’m pretty sure most of the material on this album comes from.
The lyrics on Serial Killer, like on “February”—“Everybody starts a family, I can’t even pay the heating”—and “Kick”—“Everybody’s got their weaknesses, maybe you’re the one that I can’t kick”—are simple and relatable, and sometimes a little corny. But that’s sort of how the whole album is. Simple, relatable, and a little corny. And catchy. God is this album catchy.
Right from the beginning and all the way through the end, Serial Killer moves along steadily and infectiously. It’s hard to pinpoint which songs are particularly catchy because all of them are. “Duet Song” is charmingly low-key, with a banjo melody that makes you bob your head from side to side and sing-a-along vocals. “Serial Killer” could be off a Rilo Kiley album, especially the lyrics, “How can I love you when you kill me every time.” Rogers sounds freakishly like Jenny Lewis in this song and the next, “This Whole City.”
Speaking of which, if you like Rilo Kiley, Camera Obscura, Tilly and the Wall, and any other number of indie acts, you’ll probably love (hmm… or hate) this Atlanta, Georgia, duo. Somehow though, Andrea Rogers and Colby Wright manage to sound almost exactly like their predecessors without seeming derivative. The understated vocals of lead singer Rogers and jangly instrumentation, along with simple arrangements with just a smidgen of ambience, combine into really satisfying, thoughtful and fun tracks, like nutritious candy for your ears. Mmmm.