Kiwi Jr. - 'Cooler Returns'

7/10

When Canadian outfit Kiwi Jr. released their debut album 'Football Money' at the beginning of last year, many were surprised at just how interesting and engaging their sound was. With a clear nod to the classic early 2000s indie-rock direction, they looked to bring the nostalgic aesthetic right up to date with a rich tapestry of short stories that reflected their own quirky personality. And after a year of figuring out their next move, they have now joined veteran label Sub Pop to release their sophomore effort 'Cooler Returns', a record that continues that bold and intense intension.

While normally we would be treated to songs about going out, having fun, and enjoying life, 'Cooler Returns' looks to reflect the year that has transpired but without putting too much of a downer on things. Instead of a vivid snapshot of nightlife and ambitions in the city, it now sees them find the fun in the smaller things in life, while still delivering something that is bright and enjoyable throughout. It has obviously been a year of growth for the group, and this broad and diverse full-length shows us exactly what a global pandemic can do to the excitable nature of a band on the cusp of worldwide success.

In all, 'Cooler Returns' is more of the same bold and vibrant sound of Kiwi Jr., but with this ever-present knowledge that things may never be the same again. It can help you forget your troubles for moment, and really, that is all we can hope for from a band like them right now.

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