NPR logo Hear Emo Torchbearer Football, etc.'s Meditation On A Turbulent Relationship, 'Save'

Hear Emo Torchbearer Football, etc.'s Meditation On A Turbulent Relationship, 'Save'

Football, etc. Gia Quilap/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Gia Quilap/Courtesy of the artist

Football, etc.

Gia Quilap/Courtesy of the artist

It's spring, a time for renewal and flowers and sunshine and... sadness, if Football, etc. has anything to do with it. For nearly ten years, singer and guitarist Lindsay Minton has flown the flag for '90s-era emo, with all of that movement's signature heart-on-the-sleeve confessionals and a voice that knows how to carry a weight. As I wrote a couple years ago, Football, etc. is particularly thoughtful about its backwards glance, balancing twinkly guitar ballads and moody pop songs, staking its own identity in a genre that's still discovering newness.

The Houston trio's third album, Corner, shows a band getting more comfortable in the studio, taking full advantage of J. Robbins' ears and expertise, who also recorded and mixed the band's Disappear EP from 2015. But it also shows a band maturing like late-period Rainer Maria — the raw emotion has evolved with long hindsight and subtle dynamics that shift in muted hues instead of broad brushstrokes.

Album opener "Save" makes the most of this studio mix, the rhythm section (bassist Mercy Harper and drummer Daniel Hawkins) popping over guitar harmonics that give Minton's voice more room to explore the turbulent seas of a codependent relationship: "You're coming into shore / I'm drifting out to sea / But you can't save me."

Corner comes out May 26 on Community (U.S.), Barely Regal (U.K.) and Stiff Slack (Japan).