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Review: Free Cake For Every Creature’s ‘The Bluest Star’ Is Pure Indie-Pop Ecstasy

Katie Bennett writes quiet little tunes stocked with great one-liners, deep emotions and vivid imagery on the band’s excellent fourth LP

Francis Lyons

Katie Bennett’s voice rarely rises above a whisper on her lo-fi indie-pop band’s new album, on which thinly strummed guitars and gingerly tapped drums sound like they’re being played by a band of Smurfs struggling to wake up after a very successful Sunday nap. But her sturdily crafted songs still echo around in your head, full of vivid personal detail, melodic charm and the thrill that comes with witnessing a wide-open heart and mind discovering the world — even when the people in it don’t always reflect her generosity back. The guitars of “Around You” swirl and chime as Bennett sings about finding someone new to hang out with; the slowly drifting “Be Home Soon” wrings every instant of joy from a work-week-ending subway ride home; “Tom Or Mike Or Pat Or” is a gentle spree of sensual imagery (a mouth full of sunflower seeds, a fast car, bare legs, red lips, a bug bite on her ass) over glistening jangle. Though they are slight, the snow globe sound worlds Free Cake For Every Creature create have a summery verdancy, and Bennett displays a sneaky way with one-liners all over the place (“our bodies were like spaghetti, tangled and sauce-less,” she observes on “Whole World Girl”). Pretty impressive for a band that doesn’t play loud enough to disturb a lounging cat.

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