Brattleboro Is Flooding

The Lentils, 2015

At some point, lo-fi music became self-aware. That is, it became a skill and a style to master unto itself, and not (necessarily) a by-product of a situation. Especially with the power of computers and software nowadays, it seems the line between a full-fledged, mainstream production and a bedroom construction is terribly thin and imperceptibly gray. Bad recording is now a choice, which further casts any new lo-fi wonders as torch bearers. Like garage rock, there's no use citing a revival, since it's never stopped. There's been a constant stream of lo-fi bands reveling in the joy of solipsism since (at least) the middle-80s.

The Lentils are spot on. They've studied indiepop from the last 30 years and made a playbook for a perfect facsimile. The lyrics deftly navigate between inane, incomprehensible and profound. The melodies always skirt the edge of the familiar, tapping into an eternal vein of jangle. Their attitude balances self-deprecation with a smugness that knows it is in on a joke that you decidely are not. Even the cover is studiously arresting: a ham-fisted photoshop collage with the reflected photo of someone brushing their teeth that feels more disgusting than it should—but that's the point, right?

Not every band has to change the world, some just need to fill a void.