Concert preview: Arkansas dream-rock quintet SW/MM/NG shines on Feel Not Bad

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From the August 14, 2014 edition

The Fayetteville, Arkansas, quintet titled its long-in-the-works debut Feel Not Bad, which is a pretty apt synopsis of its split musical personality.

Yes, the group’s psychedelic dream-pop output can be immediately pleasing to the ear, but the songs are often spiked with a gnawing wistfulness that gives the music an additional layer of complexity. Witness a track like “Some Dreams Come True,” a jagged indie-rock number that comes on like the bandmates have never quite shaken the fact others don’t.

A similarly conflicted spirit worms its way into “All I Want,” an airy cut constructed of silky guitar webs, which finds singer Brian Kupillas repeating the words “All … I want … is you,” his broken voice heavy with longing. These guys might be young, but they already sound battered by life. And it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

WV White and Sega Genocide also perform.

Photo courtesy of SW/MM/NG