A Weather - Everyday Balloons (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Weather

Everyday Balloons (2010)

Team Love / Bad Panda

It's hard not to approve both A Weather's blatant Seinfeld reference and their dainty, co-ed sound dabbling in slow-moving indie pop and vaguely folk elements. But how well the latter can hold up over the course of 11 songs and 51 minutes on Everyday Balloons becomes a latent, innocuous experience when they fail to add any real sort of textural dynamics or otherwise moments of total brilliance; or maybe even that intangible something that kicks it into another gear.

Sure, "Winded" finds a piano prop to push it along with a vigorous pop, and "Seven Blankets" is guided with a gracefulness that's stark. But despite all these little flares and the air of gravity the band seem so natural at injecting, it too often feels a little transparent and bearing feelings only barely beyond mere ineffectuality. You could draw a Swell Season comparison, but the theatricality and more obvious melody certainly is not here. It's not necessarily what makes Everyday Balloons so often feel a little blasé, though.

Granted, the aching slowcore movements of something like the Eisley-esque "No Big Hope" finish a little more real and entrancing. And "Happiness" adds a suddenly dark twist to the album's second half; it's a sudden, jarring change of mood but it serves the record a much-needed turn of emotions. "Giant Stairs" has the most subtle flutter of post-rock atmosphere, even, and the vocal melodies are at their best in seven-minute closer "Lay Me Down"; in the latter, there's finally some buildup and an arc to be had.

Overall, however, Everyday Balloons doesn't fail because it doesn't wish to sensationalize or go by way of gimmickry; in fact, that might be the real death of it. It's merely the frustration one gets from how disenchanted its procedure too often feels.

Third of Life
No Big Hope
Giant Stairs