Prisoner

The full-length U.S. debut by this Australian quartet is a fresh blast of vintage turmoil: a robust spin on the echo-laden romanticism of early-Eighties New Wave rock. "I'll be waiting/For your never-ending wave/For our passage to arise," singer Hayley Mary promises in "Endless Summer," in a low, fretful tone before arcing over Heather Shannon's keyboards and Sam Lockwood's guitar like Björk leading a young U2 – or maybe the adult Kate Bush fronting guitar modernists Explosions in the Sky. The songs are intrepid dissections of desperate connection ("City Girl," "Nobody Nowhere"). The result should be the start of beautiful friendships here.

Listen to "Endless Summer":

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Photos: Random Notes

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