The band is a roving tribe of musicians, based in Portland, Ore., with great chops, lovely voices and lots of ambition. Frontman Tim Perry, playing electric guitar, is backed by bassist Rob Oberdorfer, drummer Levi Cecil, keyboardist Becca Shultz, Annie Bethancourt on acoustic guitar and Sarah Riddle on percussion. All members sing.
The group is touring in support of their newest album "Divisionary," released in March 2014, on Partisan Records. Their first release in three years, the sound is a much merrier and more meditative offering than 2011's "Alright You Restless." The sort-of title track is "Divisionary (Do the Right Thing)," a track featuring spare but warm instrumentals with vocals that rise and stabilize like a gospel hymn.
"Light Goes Out" begins with an intro of choral pop and percussion snaps reminiscent of folkie trendsters Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and the chorus itself is an upbeat, hypnotic loop. Oberdorfer's bass prickles across "I See More," the various swells collapsing into the breathless vocals that harmonize so well that they seem like a single hand-picked part from a round. Shultz's keys on "No Pressure" are underscored by McDonald's jangly guitar, and the overall theme is a mid-service testimony at a tent revival.
Ages and Ages raise their collective voices to make a joyful noise, and "Divisionary" preaches the sermon of being true to oneself and creating something that falls as often as it can on the right side of the divide.