The Dodos

Unlike their sonic brethren the Animal Collective on the East Coast, San Francisco's the Dodos keep it simple — but hardly stupid. Steeped in psychedelic folk and classic pop, leader Meric Long and crew focus on tattered guitars, huge yet warm drums and the kinds of melodies and harmonies that bands once sold their souls to the Devil (or at least the Byrds) to achieve. That said, there's nothing blatantly retro about The Dodos' sound; rather, the band's most recent full-length, the sharp yet dreamlike Time to Die, fits the current indie-rock landscape perfectly, carving out a sweet, humble little niche without blindly following trends, throwing up attitude or resorting to arty pretension. Plus, there's vibraphone. And who couldn't use a little more of that particular happy noisemaker in their lives?

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