It's no secret why Meese's bid for major-label success failed. Blame the industry all you want, but the bottom line is this: The band was mediocre. But with their new outfit, the Centennial, Patrick and Nathan Meese are trying a new approach: leading instead of following. By ditching Meese's strum-by-numbers indie pop, the Centennial's debut EP, Second Spring, opens itself up to drifting hooks and an airy electronic atmosphere that sounds faintly familiar yet sweetly, intimately unique. Suspended in a rich liquid of digitized echoes and languid guitar, the harmonies of Patrick and his wife, singer/keyboardist Tiffany Meese, tap into some deep, dual well of euphoria and melancholy. Far more sophisticated and subtle than anything Meese ever dreamed of, Second Spring nonetheless gushes straight from the heart. Regardless of how popular the Centennial may or may not become, its members should rest easy on this early triumph: They've already far surpassed the band that birthed them.
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