In a previous write-up for the New Jersey's LKFFCT, I celebrated the fact that the NJ-based indie rock band had crafted a summer anthem "for the rest of us." By this I meant that the quartet's jams were equally suited for people who don't mind partying by simply chilling on a couch with some beer, a couple of joints and a marathon session of videogaming. As I'm quickly discovering in my own life, the slacker days of my younger years are pretty much behind me. Adulthood, or some form of it, has hit me like a freight train and those days of being drunk and playing Mario Kart with friends often feel more like a treasured memory. But what does this mean for the future? What happens when we lift our heads out of the haze and look ahead to the next stage of life? These a questions that I feel are at the core of LKFFCT's latest full-length, Dawn Chorus.
Don't assume that shit album is by any means downer, by any means. LKFFCT are as every bit as dedicated to having a good time as ever. The only difference is that now a healthy of introspection has been added to the equation. Many people in my generation are currently at a crossroads, torn between the choice of living the life we want vs. the life we were told we were supposed to want. We're fighting against a stifling status quo, but are still struggling for true progression without repeating the same mistakes. This conundrum is further examined in the track, "Flavor"
Daydream of sleeping all day.
I'm fantasizing a new escape.
I just wanna go home but I don't know where that is no more.
It's like I'm tricking my mind.
I'm on the brink of my sanity.
I don't wanna grow old.
At least that's what I've been told to say.
As is evident in the lively opening track, "Hatchling," the songwriting chops of Max Rauch (Guitar/Vocals) and Keith Williams (Guitar, Vocals) have been magnified intensely since the release of 2016's The Flower Investment Pawn. Dawn Chorus crackles with the same vibrancy and razor wit as previous outings. Numbers such as "Ayy Lmao" and "Bridget" recall the lighthearted, breezy pop hooks of Nada Surf while "Down The Road" throws down with big choruses and riffs that will undoubtedly create some fun shout-along moments at live shows. Speaking of shout-along moments, the jaunty twinges of folk/americana in "Punching Bag" are expertly juxtaposed with the more somber atmosphere of "Starling" and the gripping closer, "Blue Jay."
I always get a sense of pride for my home state when listening to this album, as it hosts a multitude of guest musicians who also hail from the Garden State. Ken De Poto, formerly of bands like France and They Had Faces Then, lends a hand (and a trumpet) on the album. Also featured on the album is Frank DeFranco (NGHTCRWLRS, Holy City Zoo) and Evan Luberger, to name a few.
Dawn Chorus bridges the gap between being both thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking with relative ease. Whether you're just looking to vibe out after a rough day or need a bit of audio therapy, LKFFCT have got you covered. Growing up is difficult, but at the very least it has one hell of a soundtrack.
Dawn Chorus is available for purchase now on Bandcamp.