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March 1, 2024

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The Ladybug Transistor
The Albemarle Sound (Merge Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Going back to the days of AM pop radio, The Ladybug Transistor captures a time and essence that is simple, pure, harmonious, and beautiful, while also being both delicate and lush. Their use of instrumentation is vast, helping to add that extra little touch to each number they compose. When you listen to this album, you'll be all smiles.

"Oriental Boulevard" and "Six Times" get everything rolling with what will soon become a familiar pop touch that is golden and sweet, one you'll want to listen to when you're in a good mood and having the time of your life. The songs are as beautiful as nature, giving off a warm feeling just like a relaxing walk in the green surroundings of the woods does.

And as the album progresses, the pop utopia they create, which gives off an euphoric high when the music is flowing out of your speakers, keeps putting a smile on your face while allowing you to forget all your worries and troubles. The instrumentation gently sits next to each other, forming a beautiful bond, while the vocals glide on top of them to form a very rich, textured sound that has escaped that of their radio-heavy counterparts.

"Like A Summer Rain" couldn't be more appropriately titled. "The Swimmer" is the same way. Both songs, as well as every other cut on this disc, pack every note into a tight package, with nothing out of place. Everything sits so well next to the other, and the harmonious combination of everything is so sweet and pure, you can't help but fall in love.

The soft piano, the delicate string arrangements, and even the addition of horns help advance the sound even further. Instruments seem to be like candy to these guys, and as they treat themselves to them to spruce up their sound, they produce a sugary outcome that is even tastier (and better for you!) than any candy out there.

If you're looking for some indie pop that will deliver on all expectations, this is the album for you. The band poses in the woods on the cover -- its lush, fertile, green land jumping out at you gives you the impression this is going to be next to nature's innocence. And, it is. I'll give this album an A-.

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