South Londoners Animal Kingdom dish up a fresh batch of mellow alt-rock tunes on their new album The Looking Away. The new record (released May 8) is a delightful blend of Coldplay’s pop-rock essence (their object of constant comparison) with satisfyingly airy sounds. Smooth opener “The Wave” introduces the band as mild-tempered while hinting at the atmospheric sound that runs throughout the album. (Things get super spacey on mid-album highlight “Straw Man.”) A folksy acoustic guitar chimes in “Skipping Disc,” switching things up rather seamlessly. (Played from start to finish, The Looking Away triumphs with its flow.) The bitter elements that poke through on earlier tracks shine on “Glass House” but without compromising the music’s even tone. Reminiscent of Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses, Animal Kingdom’s sophomore effort is a cohesive collection supplying bona fide smooth and easy listening. The band plays a 21+ show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Friday, August 17 at 8 p.m. with Atlas Genius. For tickets and info, call (805) 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com.
The Looking Away