Release Date: 02.19.08
There is something to be said for being left to your own devices. Purposefully leaving yourself up to the sussing out of the wheres, the hows, and most importantly, the whys. Leaving you at the end, then, with a true sense of accomplishment. Champaign, Illinois' Headlights must be grinning from ear to ear with this sense of a job well done. With their second record proper, Some Racing, Some Stopping, they eschewed the typical "Let's find a recording studio. Get a producer. Pay loads of money to get this record finished. And hurry up, the clock is ticking." Deciding instead to hole themselves up in a farmhouse outside of town to find their way into "captur[ing] the moment of a new song" as vocalist/keyboard Erin Fein has said. This, in hindsight, seemed to be the perfect way to capture the essences of these amazing pop ditties.
"Get Your Head Around It" is one of the best album openers I have heard in a long time. Put this song anywhere else in the sequence and it would of be lost. It's long build up that leads to an emotional march of beautiful "ba-da-bahs" and "ooh oohs" and that refrains with "In silence, we both walk away" would become less poignant and powerful sandwiched between two songs. Instead, it leads you right into "Cherry Tulips," a light romp down a 60's era type pop road that is soaked with warmth. The vocals of Fein, reminiscent of Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell. 'Market Girl' is a pretty serious jam. Full stop. Handclaps. A melodic and driving bass. And there is a line that kills me every time. The way guitarist and vocalist Tristen Wraight sings "And there's an inch of rain on the floor. Maybe more. Tell the land lord next time he should fix it right" sounds so rough, so smooth, so endearing that I have to listen to it again and again. The delay drenched "School Boys" floats on an Arcade Fire like rhythm and "Catch Them All" rocks like anything the Magic Numbers have done, tight harmonies and all. The point here is that sometimes when you do things yourself for yourself you end up with something so right. Which is something the land lord can't do, apparently.