"It's good to be back," Zach Rogue says of "Nightingale Floors" (June 4, Vagrant), Rogue Wave's fifth album, and its first for Vagrant after releasing two albums apiece for Sub Pop and Brushfire during the last decade.
The 10-song set is a return to the jangly, emotional indie-pop that helped the band develop a sizable following on releases like 2005's "Descended Like Vultures" and 2007's "Asleep at Heaven's Gate" before making an abrupt left turn into electro-pop for 2010's "Permalight." The latter's more synthesized sound was partially an effort by the band to create an uplifting mood in the wake of the death of former bassist Evan Farrell. The synth-driven, often danceable "Permalight" featured catchy songs like lead single "Good Morning (The Future)" and became the band's first album to crack the Billboard 200, at No. 149. But the set failed to connect beyond Rogue Wave devotees, and ultimately became the group's lowest-selling effort to date, moving just 21,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, compared with 55,000 for "Asleep at Heaven's Gate" and 51,000 for "Descended Like Vultures."
Rogue admits that Permalight was the product of "another time with a different mood for the band and a different time for me. We were trying a lot of things and different exercises in control," he says. "And if anything, I'd say 'Nightingale Floors' is an exercise in letting go and not protecting things because we don't succeed when we try and do that."