A few moments into the new single ‘Alone (Not Lonely)’ and I’m already reminded of both Modest Mouse and the Postal Service. Connecticut’s Litvar are one of many bands contributing to a rejuvenated interest in some of indie’s most ubiquitous 2000’s trends.
Yet as old-hat as this may sound, the style itself is a cultural zeitgeist across both sides of the Atlantic. Soulfully gentle indie. Easy Life contributes, as does Mac DeMarco. Steve Lacy’s ‘Bad Habit’ was even a recent TikTok trend.
This context means Litvar has great potential. The market is there and last year’s ‘You Should Find a New Boyfriend’ was a promising entry. They return with ‘Alone (Not Lonely)’, a song that continues along parallel lines, but with mixed returns.
They remain irreverent. ‘I’ll be the sun, you’ll be the moon, that way we’ll rarely see each other,’ quips Rex Thurstan, with a vocal weariness to suit. Litvar are at their best when energetically lethargic.
Synthetic keyboards pepper the song periodically. Each part is layered smartly. Less appealing, however, is the often excessive use of vocal-processing. Pitch-shifted vocals make for a colourful mix. But they are demonstrably counterfeit and begin to grate.
What makes Litvar entertaining is a willingness to understate. The intricacy of the music shines in this context – subtlety is key. They also remain lyrical wits. With their album Eloquently Aimless due for release in September, that humour appears stronger than ever.