The Dodos, “Individ”
With Individ, The Dodos continue their arc of refinement as evolution—each album they’ve released isn’t a reinvention of previous albums, nor is it repetition. Instead, they layer new styles and feelings on each other and pull it all together with confidence and skill. Their latest album isn’t as melancholic as 2013’s Carrier, and it isn’t as manic as 2009’s Time to Die. What is new on Individ is the presence of more pop moments, guitar hooks, and staccato choruses that are up-tempo but decidedly controlled. Logan Kroeber’s drums are still simultaneously nuanced and aggressive, while Meric Long’s vocals and guitars are melodic and heartfelt, but somehow there’s a sense that this LP represents a new direction for the duo. There’s the touch of guest vocals, more seamless than Neko Case’s cameos on No Color. There’s the slowly lilting bass of the track “Bastard,” but it’s a song with deliberate form rather than the sound of a band still figuring things out. Long is quoted as stating the best time to make a record is “right after you’ve finished one.” If that’s the case, The Dodos are hopefully already working on a follow up, because with Individ they’ve just started to hit their stride and should be poised for more mainstream success without losing touch with their stranger, independent roots.