The Avett Brothers: Stomping And Hollering

The Avett Brothers i

The blisteringly fast-paced "Slight Figure of Speech" sets off like firecrackers on a string. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
The Avett Brothers

The blisteringly fast-paced "Slight Figure of Speech" sets off like firecrackers on a string.

courtesy of the artist

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "Slight Figure of Speech"
  • Artist: The Avett Brothers
  • CD: I and Love and You
  • Genre: Rock

Seth and Scott Avett's music never connects more viscerally than when they're reflecting on bad memories and the way we struggle to process them, escape them and make them conform to our desires. With rich harmonies and rustic instrumentation, the Avetts make roots music that oozes austere beauty.

Of course, The Avett Brothers' fans will be quick to point out that they also know their way around stomping, hollering, blisteringly kinetic songs that split the difference between bluegrass and punk; that seem in constant danger of careening so recklessly that they might topple over under their weight of their own energy. "Slight Figure of Speech," from The Avett Brothers' divine major-label debut I and Love and You, is one of those songs — after a brisk buildup, it sets off like firecrackers on a string, accelerating through tongue-twisting verses, emo-friendly imagery ("I cut my chest wide open") and even a dose of good-natured cowbell for a closer.

It's a tribute to The Avett Brothers' considerable charms that "Slight Figure of Speech" never loses track of the group's warmth or generosity of spirit: Speedy, sunny and all too brief at just a shade over two minutes, it finds the band maintaining a perfect balance of studio slickness and garage-band glory.

Starting Sept. 22, NPR Music will stream The Avett Brothers' I and Love and You in its entirety for a week prior to its release. In the meantime, listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

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