I, for one, welcome the Gin Blossom-ing of emo (e.g. Camp Trash, Broken Record). It's not only a specific sound (jangly twang by way of '90s power-pop) but songwriting built around melodies that circle in on each other. The San Jose, Calif., band awakebutstillinbed has had poppy inclinations before, but nothing quite like this.
As one of two singles that announce chaos takes the wheel and i am but a passenger, out Oct. 20, "airport" is the happy-go-lucky-but-actually-crying pop-rocker to the screaming, bleeding heart of "redlight." Shannon Taylor, the band's primary songwriter, clearly understands the assignment of the former: Give us a sweet-and-sour sensation of movement that sticks around a few chords and tricky slights of hand, but punctuate every damning self-reflection with a hook to remember. There are even requisite doot doot doo's, followed by a descending chord progression into the climactic bridge that earns her signature scream. It's in the coda where Taylor reminds us that this is very much an emo band: lonely, strumming a guitar and wondering about her disconnection from the world.
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