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Snowblind
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Plus/Minus: A Sweetly Infectious Pop Sleeper

Plus/Minus: A Sweetly Infectious Pop Sleeper

Snowblind
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Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Snowblind"
  • Artist: +/- (Plus/Minus)
  • CD: Xs on Your Eyes
  • Genre: Pop
Plus/Minus 300

Plus/Minus' "Snowblind" starts out chilly and dainty before bursting into a big, bold, full-blooded pop gem. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

Every day this week, Song of the Day will showcase a track by an artist playing the South by Southwest music festival. For NPR Music's full coverage of SXSW — complete with full-length concerts, studio sessions, blogs, Twitter feeds, video and more — click here. And don't miss our continuous six-hour playlist, The Austin 100, which features much more of the best music the festival has to offer.

James Baluyut has been making wonderful, under-the-radar pop music for roughly 15 years now, first as a guitarist for the marvelous Versus and then as leader of +/- (a.k.a. Plus/Minus), which stripped Versus' brisk pop-rock into something a bit more fragile and subtle. A sweetly infectious sleeper, "Snowblind" unfurls in the opposite direction, starting out chilly and dainty before bursting into a big, bold, full-blooded pop gem.

It's a technique that won't exactly stun fans of Baluyut's other work — or that of Death Cab for Cutie, for that matter — but it's executed wonderfully. As gentle as the song can be, every second of "Snowblind" radiates tension and momentum, even as +/- pulls back the reins and simplifies the arrangement long enough for a memorable closer. The result is a snappy little pop firecracker, but it reveals more depth with each welcome exposure.

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XS on Your Eyes

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Album
XS on Your Eyes
Artist
+/-
Label
Absolutely Kosher
Released
2008

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