Darker My Love, "Alive As You Are"
Los Angeles-based psychedelic rock band Darker My Love trades distorted haze for a mellow, tighter arrangement that recalls '60s folk-rock on its latest album, "Alive As You Are." Byrds-reminiscent tracks like "Backseat" and "Split Minute" reveal a cleaner sound but boast more vibrant guitar layers, with climbing solos. The band's new sound also incorporates a richer instrumental variety-there's a cameo from pedal steel guitarist Joe Goldmark on "Maple Day Getaway"; horns create an ethereal vibe on "June Bloom"; and Azure Ray vocalist Maria Taylor appears on "Rain Party." But the album's highlight is "Dear Author," which includes fuzzier, stomping guitar and clearer snare pops than heard on past releases. Although Darker My Love implements a laid-back style on "Alive As You Are," the group still engages the listener and delivers a solid set.