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Headlights: Some Racing, Some Stopping

B

Headlights

Album: Some Racing, Some Stopping
Label: Polyvinyl

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Vigorously touring indie-pop band Headlights sounds more comfortable on its second album, Some Racing, Some Stopping: The tracks are dusty with the sounds of breath and the space of the Illinois farmhouse where it was recorded. Layers of guitar, synth, and drums float into fullness without the coy gleam that, in retrospect, overcrowded the friendly songwriting of its first album, 2006's Kill Them With Kindness. Tristan Wraight and Erin Fein's vocals drive melodies that initially seem like shiny distractions for kids, but give way to a melancholy that can only come from adulthood—the lyrics dwell on silence, landlords, and, on "January," how "time just marches on." "With your heart on your sleeve," Fein sings on the title track, "there's no secrets you can keep any more." That sounds more practical than cutesy, because Racing is built on things the band didn't need to hide in the first place.