The New Amsterdams

"Turn Out the Lights" (Vagrant)

On "Turn Out the Lights," Matthew Pryor of the New Amsterdams has a touch of country in his crooning — not a twang so much as a prairie-state lonesomeness. A distant guitar drones in the background, adding to the broodiness of the tune, which is all about finding redemption in a new love. It's perfectly evocative of the band's home, Kansas — music for gazing on an open landscape on a winter day. And the midtempo bass and slap percussion make it more tender than sad; the bright guitar and major-key melody keep it just this side of emo.

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