The Portland, Ore. natives of Ages and Ages exhilarate with "Divisionary," a portmanteau of "division" and "visionary": the carefully-crafted album not only combines those words but also meshes adversity and fortune.
Record label, release date and producer: "Divisionary" was released on Partisan Records on March 25, 2014; it was produced by Tony Lash.
RIYL: Islands, with a side of handclaps, shakers and noisemakers.
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Standout tracks: The title track, "Divisionary (Do the Right Thing)," predictably demands the listener "do the right thing." The track builds slowly, closing on a harmonized, sonic thunderclap.
About the band: As described by the label Partisan Records, one of the band's mantras is to use the power of music to change the world. Bandleader Tim Perry comments on climate change and higher education, cautioning against the dangers of a culture of ignorance and preserving the status quo.
About this producer: Tony Lash, a musician himself, has also produced for Elliott Smith, the Dandy Warhols and Eric Matthews.
Notable lyrics: Every member of the band collaborates to warble, "I don't need to see the light of day/To feel it on my shoulder" in "Big Idea," reinforcing the notion of optimism.
Play it while: Chilling on a couch in a furnished basement with a group of friends.
About the album art: The album's cover art features a red apple with a keyhole centered on the outside, referencing temptation, awakening and mystery.
Did you know?: During the making of the album, the band experienced both loss and joy: According to Radio.com, Ages and Ages suffered the deaths of family and friends, but one member had a child and another got married. Bassist Rob Oberdorfer explains the effects the changes had on the album as having been "eroded by the realities involved with balancing life and art."
Recently in the news: In a recent article by The Wall Street Journal, one reporter attributes the band's rising popularity to its appearances in TV shows, ads and movies as a part of media placements known as "syncs."
What the critics say: Willamette Week acknowledges that in spite of the hardships faced by the band, the album "manages to retain a bright veneer as it travels through the darkness."
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