Sunjacket

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Chicago’s Sunjacket is not a measure-once, cut-once musical outfit. Bryan Kveton, Carl Hauck, and Garret Bodette toil over four-minute pop songs with workman-like inefficiency, at times wielding scalpels and other times axing away with almost gory abandon. The process: painstakingly thoughtful. The result: an owner’s manual printed in three different languages, only to be set ablaze and rewritten from scratch by its translators. On More Lifelike, the follow-up to 2016’s Mantra, Sunjacket’s synth-driven art rock vibrates with an internal tension, managing to feel both grand and intimate, exacting and ethereal, optimistic and brooding. Lush arrangements threaten to crack at their static-filled edges. Skittering rhythms leap and convulse below silken electronic washes. Voices hover at the breaking point between full and falsetto, imbued with a blend of introspection and world-weariness. It’s the soundtrack to that elusive moment just before limbo finally gives way to movement.

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