"Live and Die"

It's an old pop music verity: You can be an old softie, if you have the tunes to back it up. On the lead single from the Rick Rubin-prouced The Carpenter, due in September, not much has changed: the Avett Brothers are still indie's dippiest sentimentalists – "I want to love you and more/I want to find you and more/Where do you reside when you hide?" – and still among its sharpest melodists, with banjos plinking along to swooping power-pop melody worthy of Big Star.

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