American singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jake Lenderman plays guitar in indie band Wednesday (their covers album was mentioned in our Dusted post last month), but also creates some pretty good own music as MJ Lenderman. His new solo full-length Boat Songs features 10 original songs that switch between immersive indie rock, rootsy power pop, distorted shoegaze, and alternative country. You’ll understand: this is a varied release. It’s energetic and surprising, with a convincing sound, enthusiastic vocals, and entertaining lyrics full of sharp observations. The singles Hangover Game and You Have Bought Yourself A Boat with which the LP opens are the obvious hits here – catchy hooks for the win – but after that the real adventure begins. Although the dark cover photo sends a different message, Lenderman says that he is chasing fulfillment and happiness with this music, and he knows how to convey that feeling well.
Boat Songs is out now digitally, on cassette, CD and vinyl LP through Dear Life Records.