At first listen, Portland’s Ages and Ages seem to provide the perfect indie-pop soundtrack to a lazy afternoon spent in careless sun-soaked abandon. But, an underlying darkness looms.
Much like the joyous gloom-tinged rock of Denmark’s Alcoholic Faith Mission, frontman Tim Perry and company craft songs that are harmonious, lush and joyous while heavily colored with angst, strife and the difficulty of remaining a decent human being. This is particularly so on their 2014 sophomore release, Divisionary.
“We had been struggling, both as a group and as individuals,” Perry tells EW via email. “These songs express an attempt to dig in and untangle some messy stuff. There had been a lot of death between the two albums.” Not one to linger, he sees sharing the darkness as a way of returning to the light.
“Trying to work through something and come out on top, no matter how dark shit gets in the process, is — in my mind — an optimistic act,” Perry says. “A lot of the themes are a reflection of what this band was going through at the time.”
The culmination of exorcising all those demons is a deceptively bright, vocally driven folk-pop record with hooks aplenty and lyrics that leave the listener thoughtfully pondering, and hopefully relating more than they’d like to admit. The best art challenges its audience to think and feel, to experience it through the mind of its creator.
Local post-rockers Era Coda join Ages and Ages 9:30 pm Saturday, April 4, at Sam Bond’s Garage; $10. 21-plus.