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One of the more common assessments you’re bound to hear about the modern music aficionado is that they are plagued with a very acute from of apathy when it comes to musical consumption. This assessment holds that the concert-going experience is usually marked by crossed arms and nary a stomping foot from listeners who are quick to judge and even quicker to dismiss. The assessment goes further in its indictment of irony as a tastemaker, generally positing that earnestness is a quality in music rarely seen or experienced. There are a handful of modern bands who have formed in direct retaliation to the idea that earnestness is dead, and Portland’s AgesandAges proudly wave the banner of proud sentimentality on their new debut record, Alright You Restless.
Today’s featured song is the lead track off of the album and there is no mistaking the joy in their approach. Invoking the sounds of Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac and the over-the-top delivery of The Polyphonic Spree, AgesandAges swing for the rafters with a swelling chorus of harmony, handclaps, and shuffling percussion. The all-out earnestness is bound to be a turn off to some people, as the band’s aesthetic teeters on the edge of an abyss of preciousness, but there is a broader conversation about sincerity, irony, and how we participate in the music we consume that this song fits into nicely.
Does the sincerity in this song and in AgesandAges’ message of inclusion and participation come off as organic or does it seem reactionary? Is there a difference?