Emery Byrd: Of Fakes and Friends

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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "A Great Silence"
  • Artist: Emery Byrd
  • CD: Mrs. Young Versus the Young Ones
  • Genre: Power-Pop
Emery Byrd 300

The San Diego power-pop band Emery Byrd specializes in brightly catchy melodies and whimsical lyrics. Kimberly Lostroscio hide caption

toggle caption Kimberly Lostroscio

The San Diego power-pop band Emery Byrd specializes in brightly catchy melodies and whimsical lyrics, having already released two EPs of engaging acoustic pop and jaunty electric rock. While its '60s pop influences remain undeniable on Emery Byrd's first full-length album — "Good Mrs. Young" sounds like a lost Kinks song — the disc showcases a band growing more comfortable and confident. More and more, the group knows when to put away the playful devices to create something more powerful.

"A Great Silence" opens with the purposeful ringing of an acoustic guitar and a tambourine before singer Matt Carastro confronts a growing disconnect between onetime friends. Once united by raucous Saturday nights, they come to realize over time that they're faking it: "Here they come, loud into the city lights / asking me which way to be / It doesn't mean a thing to me." Over rough electric-guitar slashes and cymbal crashes, Carastro goes on to examine a youthful take on vice and virtue: "Blame it on the perfect night / The seven things you wish you need / and the seven things you meant to be."

He revisits this idea in the final verse: "The seven things you wish you need are the seven things you meant to be." Once again, virtue and vice have become entangled until, like fakes and friends, they're indistinguishable from one another.

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