Unlikely Friends, Crooked Numbers (2018)

Today's entry is short and sweet -- Running late for something, but, hey, tomorrow, that'll be a doozy, I promise.

This is a recent well-below-the-radar release that somehow came to my attention and ended up as one of my favorite albums of recent years.  (I picked it up at the same time as their comparably fine 2015 release Solid Gold Cowboys.)  I can't say I know much about these guys beyond what's on their Bandcamp entry, where you can (and must!) buy their albums.  Unlikely Friends appears to be a "supergroup" of sorts with members of various Pacific Northwest indie bands (including Math & Physics Club, another band whose recent work I really, really like).

The music is your basic lo-fi indie pop, ideal for fans of Guided by Voices and Pavement, maybe early Teenage Fanclub; it's humble and low-key but unusually catchy.  The whole album clocks in at about half an hour, but along the way you've got at least a half-dozen tracks that are pure earworms, getting stuck in your head for hours (and the rest is perfectly fine as well).  Case in point is the incredibly wonderful opening track, "Fifteen Rounds," the kind of song that sits at #1 with a bullet on the imaginary radio station that plays in my head.  And hot on its heels is "Broken Again," which starts off with a Beat Happening-esque sing-speak intro before, again, launching into another joyous chorus.  Somehow this band makes coming up with creative and wonderful hooks seem incredibly easy.

Anyway, check out the little Spotify playlist below and give it a spin, I think you'll like it.

Here's the insanely great "Fifteen Rounds":
...and the more low-key "39 Steps":