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How the West Was Won



The Broken West
I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On
Merge Records

Rarely have I heard music that is as quintessentially Californian as Los Angeles-based quintet the Broken West. Formerly known as the Brokedown, The Broken West crafts delightful melodies that recall early Byrds-esque psychedelia and the exuberant power-pop of Big Star, all with the distinctly West Coast flavor that their name suggests. On their debut album I Can’t Go On, I Must Go On this foursome not only pays musical homage to the Golden State with their brand of dreamy indie, but also proves that their sound runs much deeper than just frivolous feel-good rock. Instead of churning out run-of-the-mill formulaic indie-pop, the Broken West make music that is a thoughtful juxtaposition of swirling keyboards, melodic upbeat guitars and catchy hooks contrasted with lyrical content that explores loneliness, regret and the different shapes and textures of love. Very much like the many microclimates of California, The Broken West explores these different emotional landscapes without abandoning their quirky pop sound. “You Can Build an Island” is an upbeat track with hazy melodies that brings to mind meandering summer road trips, while the moody “Hale Sunrise” presents the darker side of Hollywood but with an optimistic flair thanks to a breakdown of frenetic handclaps and infectious “ooh ohh ohhs.” Come experience The Broken West’s sunny power-pop when they open for the National at Bimbo’s 356 Club on Wednesday, June 27.