On their ninth studio album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, Belle & Sebastian released the pun-y titled “The Party Line.” It’s a sleek 80s synth song that’s easy to dance to whether bombs are dropping or not.
It’s been four years since The Decemberists released any new material and their first single, “Make You Better,” finds them in fine, moody form. It starts as a simple guitar-piano ballad building steam as harmonies and instruments are added. The tune is starry-eyed melancholy, a welcome fit on an album titled What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.
“Then Came the Morning,” the title track off the latest from Brooklyn indie folk trio The Lone Bellow, is a study in harmony and earnest gospel soul. Starting with churchy piano, strings and a rush of voices, which spread like a sunrise to dispel the darkness, the tune works both literally and figuratively.