Band of Horses

Given the restless impulses of Band of Horses principal singer and songwriter Ben Bridwell, it's no wonder that any cease-and-desist letters the My Morning Jacket legal team may have sent were returned to sender. Giving up on Seattle, where he formed the band, Bridwell recently retreated to the land of his blood, South Carolina. There, he ditched band members and shook off the intractable echoes of Jim James's post-Southern rock for a kind of post-country soul on last year's widely underrated Infinite Arms. Polished and accessible, it's a largely subdued album, with piano, strings and harmonies expanding on Bridwell's venerable and vulnerable homesick vignettes.

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