Local music: The Kyle Sowashes

By
From the May 3, 2012 edition

The Kyle Sowashes’ LP “Somebody” (completing a trilogy with “Yeah, Buddy” and “Nobody”) begins with a lengthy, slow build. The politics of small-time local rock shows is familiar Sowash fare, but sonically, the atmospheric drifting announces “Somebody” as evolution — fitting for a record about aging. (Song titles include “Cholesterol” and “Gray Hair.”)

Sowash still specializes in 1990s indie rock, scruffy and melodic, powered by pizza and marked by endearing humor. But as those years disappear farther into the rearview, “Somebody” finds his band applying slacker-rock steez with a keener understanding of what makes songs tick.

The transformation is not radical. Most of the album channels Superchunk and Archers of Loaf at their most balls-to-the-wall, so it’s hardly transformation at all. But at its seams and particularly at its bookends, “Somebody” strikes a graceful, melancholy sway. Bonus points for making the song about feeling old after a Pavement concert sound like the somnambulant conclusion to Pavement’s “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.”