Feral Conservatives, the indie rock band formed by Virginia Beach songwriting duo Rashie Rosenfarb (vocals, mandolin) and Matt Francis (drums), made serious inroads as a trio with their 2016 LP "Here's to Almost" for Egghunt Records -- earning year end accolades including "Album of the Year." In the time since, the band added guitar to the lineup -- still distinguished and defined by the mandolin -- the new twin rhythm attack brings both bite and jangle to their follow up "Better Lives".
Touching on mature themes with a youthful energy propelled by Rashie Rosenfarb's dynamic voice and mandolin stylings, "Better Lives" sees the band under the seasoned direction of Jon Auer, co-founder of Seattle's The Posies and reunion-era member of the original power pop mavens Big Star. Auer co-produced, mixed the record, and even duets with Rosenfarb, bringing his sharp pop sensibilities to a heavier affair overall. "With this one, it really made me grow and figure out my writing style without trying to be like someone or have a certain sound...I just kind of wrote what came out of me," Rosenfarb says. The result is a darker, more thought-out album, sonically more layered and adventurous, while still proving wholly melodic.