We think we saw Bound Stems at Knitting Factory as part of a CMJ showcase once, but we don't remember. That's probably because on first listen, Bound Stems make workmanlike indie rock. It's catchy, yeah, but what makes it stand out? The songs on their upcoming album The Family Afloat form into one cohesive album of stories that fold in on themselves—lyrics are crammed into the space between precise drumming and just enough guitar jangle, and before you know it you realize you're listening to a concept album about family and home, with recurring lyrical reference points that keep it comforting. Are we listening to the musical equivalent of Garden State or something? EMBARRASSING. Just kidding. The best thing about Bound Stems is how they are able to approach these concepts with tact and without corniness, keeping things emotionally close without sacrificing catchy songwriting and the central concept of the record. Download "Happens to Us All Otherwise" below because it features near-Destroyer levels of verbosity, and then head over to their MySpace for some more.