Most people would like to forget those awkward tween years, but for Northampton, Massachusetts indie-pop group And the Kids, that cringe-worthy phase of life was the seedling of a musical partnership that's still blossoming.

Most people would like to forget those awkward tween years, but for Northampton, Massachusetts indie-pop group And the Kids, that cringe-worthy phase of life was the seedling of a musical partnership that's still blossoming.

Singer Hannah Mohan and drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro met in band class in seventh grade and dropped out of school a few years later, writing songs together and later adding Canadian Megan Miller on synthesizer and percussion. Because of visa issues, Miller can't tour in the states, so Mohan and Lasaponaro traveled to Canada to record the band's new LP, Friends Share Lovers (Signature Sounds), released earlier this month. (Taliana Katz was recently added on bass to fill out the live sound on tour.)

While the album's title references the blurred boundaries among a close-knit group of friends, And the Kids uses these relationships to explore larger themes, creating socially conscious twee-pop that offsets weighty words with bouncy beats. "Please don't police me, oh I want to feel free … la la la la la," Mohan sings on "Strange to Be," her vocals recalling onetime local twee-folk supergroup Super Desserts. She delves more into the concept of feeling free on "I Can't Tell What the Time is Telling Me," declaring, "Freedom is another word for not caring about being poor."

Friends Share Lovers beautifully combines reverb-laden, xx-evoking guitar riffs with propulsive, bass-heavy percussion and spritely synths, leaving any awkwardness back in that middle school classroom.