The Reivers, Translate Slowly (1985)
Their 1985 debut remains my favorite, a blend of Americana and indie pop, highlighted by the traded vocals of John Croslin and Kim Longacre, making them sound like a hybrid of R.E.M. and X. I remember this one rolling into the college radio station (WPRB) under the band's original name, Zeitgeist, which they were forced to change by another band using the same moniker; alongside bands like the Connells, Winter Hours, and Guadalcanal Diary, the Reivers were a constant presence on my shows.
Songs range from hushed, atmospheric ballads like the title track to more upbeat rockers like "Without My Sight." The stand-out is probably "Things Don't Change," which traverses both extremes, moving from quiet verses to exuberant choruses.
The CD version added a fun little Daniel Johnston cover ("Walking the Cow") as well as the lovely "Electra," which they re-recorded for their follow-up. The three albums that followed were nearly as strong, and each had enough solid, radio-friendly tracks that I was completely befuddled by their lack of popular success.
After breaking up, Croslin recorded a couple albums with a band called the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem, with a similar sound; the band also briefly regrouped for a 2013 album (also out of print) before disappearing again.
I can't link to a Spotify playlist, but most of the Translate Slowly album can be found on YouTube.
Here's a live version of "Things Don't Change":
...and a live take on "Translate Slowly":