On Apple-Eaters, Thrifty Astronaut's Nick Jones has pushed himself a little in terms of production, but he's done so without losing the rough edges that have always made his songwriting so compelling. The title track has lyrics and a vocal delivery worthy of Jad Fair, but the music is more akin to a strange hybrid of early Beck and Camper Van Beethoven. "Go with your innocence, cling to your ignorance," the refrain from "Teenage Sunburns," could be the epigram of the album, summing up Jones's attitude toward both the extreme feelings and the misplaced romanticism one experiences in adolescence and early adulthood. On "Everything Is Shit," he seems to channel 69 Love Songs-era Magnetic Fields with a deep-voiced and paradoxically compelling tone of disengagement. Whimsical, insightful, pointed and informed by an undercurrent of compassion, these songs demand repeated listens.