The Long Winters When I Pretend To Fall (Barsuk) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
When I Pretend To Fall has the kind of narrative trajectory you rarely see outside of full-fledged concept albums. Main Winters man John Roderick follows up The Worst You Can Do, his 2002 debut for Death Cab for Cutie label Barsuk, with a set of enjoyably varied indie pop songs that start off with bright brassy horns and a sassy jingle-jangle and burrow inward to heartfelt ruminations and darker melancholic melodies. A massive cast of indie pals, from Peter Buck to Cutie Chris Walla, show up to bolster the Winters' hooky quirk pop, so songs like the deliciously 60s frug Shapes become turbo-charged with retro keyboards, while the ruminative Blanket Hog chills out with a sweet string section. Never boring. The Long Winters open for label-mates Death Cab for Cutie at the Opera House tonight (Thursday, October 16).