I love it when a band finds an image that perfectly sums up the feel of their music. The cover of The Postelles’ second album shows the indie rock foursome splayed out on the sand, as if recovering from some beach party just outside the frame. On their second album …And It Shook Me, the New York quartet avoids the sophomore slump with meticulously crafted and effortlessly performed songs about love and longing. Equal parts sincerity and fun, …And It Shook Me draws immediate comparison to a similar sounding five-piece from the same town — and it’s no wonder why. The Strokes’ Albert Hammond, Jr. left his sonic impression on the band when he produced their 2011 debut, resulting in raw, lo-fi garage rock pep reminiscent of his main outfit. For this album, the band shakes off a bit of the grime for a more refined, polished studio sound, which works in their favor on the surf-y “Heavy Eyes” and the layered sha-la-la’s of “Tidal Wave.” In tandem with their higher-fi production, the songs themselves are top notch; the soaring chorus on the title track almost dares you not to sing along. With its back-and-forth between singer Daniel Balk and guest vocalist Alex Winston, “Pretend It’s Love” is the ultimate keeping up appearances anthem, about a relationship built on broken promises, unspoken problems, and unchanging attitudes. Though the album evokes feelings of a beach party winding down at sunset, if The Postelles keep churning out music like this, they’ll be shining bright for a long time to come.
The Postelles play SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on Monday, May 20 with The Colourist and Atlas Genius. Call (805) 965-5205 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets and info.