Bears' live shows have been few and far between since Charlie McArthur moved to Chicago and away from longtime collaborator Craig Ramsey. New songs by the sugar-spun pop group are even rarer these days. But their lovely new album was worth the wait. The duo's fondness for shimmery indie pop still shines through: Strummy guitar and twinkly percussion drive "The City Still," and handclaps perforate the brisk toe-tapper "Wash My Hands." But Greater Lakes also possesses smart sonic depth. "Perfect Girl" could fit anywhere on the first two Shins albums, and the highlight "From Good to Bad" includes ghostly synths and kicky drums for a killer homage to eerie new wave. A perfect album to cue up on a chilly late-winter's eve. — Annie Zaleski
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