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Flashbulb Fires

If it's true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then a number of celebrated indie-rock bands should be positively gushing after hearing this record. On last year's Glory, Denver's Flashbulb Fires recalls a more sullen Arcade Fire, an act it name-checks in its bio; although Flashbulb Fires is more spectral, with slightly less bombast, it displays the same lush, choral backing vocals on sublime tracks like "Sleep Money Dawn." At the midpoint, with "Brunette," the record takes a brief upbeat turn, with vibrant horns creating an unexpected but welcome buoyancy before the sound is dialed back down. Throughout, Patrick McGuire's vocals — especially his Yorke-ian falsetto during the closing refrain of "Revenge Song" — are utterly compelling. Overall, Glory offers a pleasing batch of songs that stand on their own, despite their distinctive influences.

 
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