In an era in which a nostalgia-themed pop is a safe bet for commercial success, …
Gentle fingerpicking, and soft, murmuring vocal harmonies; the muffled rumbling of drums, and carefully-controlled waves of feedback washing over it all: this is the sound of The Dodos (and Grizzly Bear, but let’s not focus too much on that). Is it easy to get cynical about so-called “indie rock:” its sameness, its perhaps overly-safe polish. It is, however, always rewarding to look into what bands like The Dodos, Department of Eagles, and their many worthy contemporaries have to offer. Like New Weird America, sans the dissonance, and with reined-in ambient experiments in favor of pleasant melodies, The Dodos straddle the line between pop, folk, and psychedelia, and manage to create music that’s engaging and organic.
Nevertheless, the new Dodos album Individ does not stand out much within their discography. Individ is comparatively very well-crafted among the pop releases from the past few months, but on the whole it gives off the impression of a once-sprightly, more folk-sounding group who’ve thrown in the towel to channel their inner Real Estate (not that Days isn’t pretty good), to create something very mild. There are some moments of beauty on this record though, most notably the lush textures of “Darkness.” »
– Matthew Sweeney