By Tanner Meadows
Artist: And The Kids
Album: When This Life Is Over
Release Date: February 22, 2019
Label: Signature Sounds Recordings
And The Kids are an up-and-coming indie trio from Northampton, Massachusetts, consisting of Hannah Mohan, Rebecca Lasaponaro and Megan Miller. The group has made a name for themselves since their debut LP Turn To Each Other, released in 2015. The band blends a dreamy, charming sound over ethereal indie, with a powerful delivery and just a hint of twang.
On their latest release, When This Life Is Over, self-described as being about the “remarkable beautiful freedom of the afterlife,” the band presents these existential themes with their particular flavor of seemingly melancholic but truthfully optimistic music. They take something gray and turn it into something charming, relatable and really quite beautiful.
When This Life Is Over is an album that’s best when listened to in its entirety. It’s a mixed bag of bops and bedroom demos that stand perfectly alright on their own but work best when taken together as a whole. In a similar way, one of the record’s greatest strengths is the combined singing of the three bandmates. Backup vocals—backup being an understatement—from the bass player and the drummer come together with that of the lead to create a really airy but articulate, celestial-esque sound. The three-piece outfit can make a much more intricate, layered sound than what one would initially expect.
The third song, “Champagne Ladies,” is, to me, the standout track of this album. It’s a perfect showcase of the group’s mix of melodic voices over chunky, quirky indie rock. The end of the finale, “Basically We Are Dead,” hooks back into the chorus of the former. Songs like the eponymous “When This Life Is Over” and “White Comforters” add softer sections with a more homemade feeling into the progression of the album.
Overall, When This Life Is Over is a rainy daydream of a record that emphasizes life’s brevity, its gray areas and contradictions, not as a condemnation or from a place of negativity but intended as a celebration of its paradoxical wonder.