"Sometimes the good guys lose/We try not to lose our hearts" begins the 13th LP by the sublimely hangdog indie-rock forebears. On an album about staying the course as time passes and things fall apart, producer John McEntire hones arrangements that are more layered than usual. Guitar noise dazzles; "Is That Enough" and "Before We Run" even have strings. But the standouts are lean: The Nick Drake-ish "I'll Be Around" is little more than Ira Kaplan's whispery vocals and fingerpicked acoustic guitar, and in the Sandy Denny-ish "Cornelia and Jane," Georgia Hubley sets whispery vocals over muted brass. The band revels in its pop modesty, as beautifully as ever.
Listen to Fade: