Headlights - The Enemies [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Enemies [reissue] (2005)


The more that I listen, the more that I find Headlights to be an incredibly fitting name for this trio. The Enemies is a refreshing blast of delightful and assured indie pop tunes that could warm the coldest rooms this winter.

The four lively tunes presented on this EP really caught me my surprise. I can't remember the last time I was genuinely disappointed with anything from Polyvinyl, and this will certainly be no exception. Refreshing is a word that comes to mind with each of the four songs on the EP, as while not completely original, these tunes sound fresh and inviting, as so many bands songs are not able to be considered. At times sounding eerily like Blake Schwarzenbach on Jets to Brazil's Pefecting Loneliness, singer/guitarist Tristan Wraight effortlessly and delicately croons over the most minimal, yet mood-evoking bit of instrumentation. The brooding "Tokyo" is a low-key track that seems to be seething with emotion, but that emotion is presented in such a restrained manner than you never get the full brunt of it. Things pick up a bit of steam with the bouncy "Centuries," as both Wraight and keyboardist/vocalist Erin Fein contribute their vocal styles, managing to contrast, but blend superbly at the very same time.

From there, it's Fein's angelic musings that propel themselves to the forefront of Headlights' sound. "It Isn't Easy to Live That Well" is a much more guitar-driven affair, giving off a darker sound, but it's still got that same bright pop sensibility that's so prevalent in each of the other songs. The keyboards, while simple, really jump out at you. The band members all have that hop in their step that allows them to write great songs, albeit simple ones. The production doesn't hurt their case either, as it's really able to bring out the very best in each musician as well as the collective.

Four extremely well-crafted songs with terrific harmony and understanding of a good pop hook, Headlights have an extremely bright future ahead of them if they can stay on that very same road.