In its quiet way, Free Cake For Every Creature’s The Bluest Star stands out in a year crammed with good indie-rock albums. Katie Bennett’s tunes at first seem almost impossibly low-key but keep revealing little pleasures – whispered hooks, painterly details, funny lines like “Our bodies were like spaghetti, tangled and sauce-less.” Likewise, “In Your Car” seems modest at first, a vignette about listening to music in a parked car that runs barely two minutes and only sort of has a chorus. It was inspired by Bennett’s years as a teenage lifeguard in southern New Jersey. She’d get off her shift, find a quiet place to park with a friend and crank the radio. “At the time,” she explained, “I was anxious to start my ‘real’ life.” The song is about showing “appreciation for how my in-between relationships helped me notice the beauty of those evenings and made me feel wanted.”
“In Your Car” is a couple months old now, but it’s a fitting soundtrack to the end of summer, a time for hanging onto a moment when you know you have somewhere else to be. Not that much happens in this particular vehicle, but in Bennett’s telling, it’s all shot through with magic and moonlight. The windows come down, the narrator’s friend passes a lipstick-stained glass, and the song they’re listening to turns out to be Pavement’s “Summer Babe,” another indie-rock gem full of off-hand romance. “We’re already late, but I kinda wish we’d stay,” Bennett sings, and then her summer night’s dream dissolves on the breeze.