Three years ago, Save Ends released Warm Hearts, Cold Hands, an energetic and earnest pop-punk record with dueling guy/gal vocals; the sound was unapologetically in love with the turn-of-the-millennium emo of The Get Up Kids and The Anniversary. The Holliston, Mass., band returns in February with the Hugs Your Friends EP, which features a more tonally reflective sound.
"I Fell Asleep" maintains Save Ends' larger-than-life sense of melody, meditating on regret in traded lines between keyboardist Brendan Cahill and guitarist Christine Atturio. In some ways, the song hints at the maturity and mood of Charmer by Tigers Jaw. As with that excellent 2014 album, Save Ends' somber shift signals more attention paid to songwriting, as the band amps up the drama with sudden time-signature changes, more space between musical phrases, and a chorus that soars bittersweetly.