Cities & Coasts' shine on debut 'Postcards from the Great Lakes'

A few years back, the Cleveland, Ohio-based Cities & Coasts' singer-guitarist Nathan Hedges was signed to a small Virginia label and released a solo album.

He met Welshly Arms' drummer Michael Gould when he needed to put a backing band together, and Gould helped him recruit singer-bassist Jimmy Weaver. Earlier this year, they started recording as Cities & Coasts.

Their highly accessible debut, Postcards from the Great Lakes, reveals the band's classic influences. "Summer is Over" features the kind of cooing vocal harmonies you hear on vintage Beach Boys albums. And the same goes for the snappy "Crying on a Sunday," which sounds like a cross between Dennis Wilson and Co. with the Smiths.

"Don't Scratch the Vinyl" almost has a calypso feel and is bound to get stuck in your head, while "What I Want" is a retro-sounding pop tune with jangly guitars and more of those pitch-perfect harmony vocals. There's not a bad song here.

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