Smith Westerns, 'Soft Will' (6/25)
Following a 140-plus-date tour in support of their breakout second effort, 2011's Dye It Blonde, Smith Westerns returned to their native Chicago, moved a block away from one another and took a deep breath. Their pause was short-lived: in a matter of weeks the glam-rock trio were writing new tunes, then headed south and holed up in Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas, to record Soft Will. They emerged with a musically advanced set: the album showcases singer Cullen Omori's voice more prominently than in the past, and is highlighted by the sprightly synths of lead single "Varsity" and the choirboy harmonies on "3AM Spiritual."
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