"So You Go Along," the opening track on Varlet's new album, American Hymns, sounds deceptively like something out of a 1970s musical, only the textures are richer and the lyrics darker. And that's a perfect image for this album, a project on which Lily Scott indulges her inner jazz-and-blues singer, especially on songs like "Liquid Wasteland." Mixing this sound with a more Laurel Canyon-flavored psychedelia on "Meteor" and elsewhere, the band reveals a developed sense of depth, using space as a musical element to great effect. No instrument dominates the mix, and Scott's prominent vocals seem to dance in perfect synch with the music. There's always been a strong jazz vein in Varlet's musical DNA, but this time out, it's fully integrated into the band's pop songcraft, most appreciably on the elegantly crafted title track.
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