The Lineup

Some Army

Chapel Hill, N.C.

Three songs really aren’t enough, but for what is certainly a growing number of Some Army fans, it’ll have to do—at least until the Chapel Hill sextet delivers it's promised full-length later this year.

Released in January on a self-titled 7-inch, those three songs offer rich textures and richer melodies. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the band’s collective résumé: Bandleader Russell Baggett started writing the songs that would become Some Army as his previous band, The Honored Guests, drifted into dormancy. As the new batch of songs came together, Baggett recruited Honored Guests keyboardist Patrick O’Neill (who had begun his own outfit, Aminal, and joined JKutchma’s Five Fifths), guitarist/keyboardist Elysse Thebner and lap-steel guitarist Rusty Sutton (both also counted among Kutchma’s Fifths), drummer Cameron Weeks (Aminal, The Comas, Jennyanykind) and bassist Joe Caparo (again, Aminal).

Baggett’s well-acquainted circle of musical ringers breathed life into the pieces. By the time those first three songs made their way into the studio (Baggett’s garage, actually), they had grown into polished, mature pieces of sweeping keys and guitars, jangly strumming and steady drumming. Baggett leads the band with a warm croon that’s shaded by late-night overthinking and bleary melancholy. It shares a dreamy quality with any number of shoegazers but never succumbs to the murk and mire that the tag implies. Instead, Some Army’s gentle drift suggests spaced-out psych rock, and Baggett’s lyrics lean imagistic, with an undercurrent of shuffling folk to keep it earthbound.

Some Army’s music offers many complementary and contradictory points of entry. Without qualification, though, it’s compelling, moody pop that deserves an audience—and more than three songs. —Bryan C. Reed