West Indian Girl

After expanding its head count, L.A.'s hippified West Indian Girl cooked up loose, electronically augmented rock for 4th & Wall, its sophomore album, following a departure from Astralwerks Records. Founders Robert James and Francis Ten fleshed out the group with more keyboards and vocals; huge crescendos on tracks like "Indian Ocean" and "Sofia" owe to said adjustments. With the extra members in tow, the record's breezy ditties turn bright and ornamental.

"Back to You" looks home to Buffalo Springfield, with blink-and-you'll-miss-it pedal-steel flourishes amid acoustic-driven instrumental breaks. James's vocals trail off frequently before he finishes many syllables, but with lyrics about "running back" to a lover, it's an apt touch. Also adding to the record's steady, summery aesthetic is its multitude of guitar tracks. West Indian Girl lands far from guitar-centrism; look no further than the prog-techno trickery of "Lost Children" for proof. But the colorful riffs curling around each keyboard melody scream mildly drunk, barefoot rock. Here's to warmer fall weather.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dominic Umile