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The Dreadful Yawns 

The Dreadful Yawns (Bomp! Records)

In the past, Dreadful Yawns discs were not something you'd want to spin while operating heavy machinery. The Yawn's pretty, pastoral indie folk was so calming and meditative, it was like one prolonged daydream. But on their self-titled second full-length, the Yawns brighten their sound with kaleidoscopic tunes that never settle into a single mood.

"We can't get lost if we don't know where we're going," the band sings on the album-closing "No Destination," and it's this carefree musical wanderlust that makes the Yawns so endearing. With steel guitar, banjo, and quiet, cautious vocals lending an earthy, rural cadence, the Yawns let their songs slowly drift from sweet lullabies to taut roots rock. Here, they enlist a trio of additional vocalists to keep listeners guessing what shape the next song will take. It's a superb record, though the Yawns no longer live up to their name.

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More by Jason Bracelin

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