Music » Critics' Picks

Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps

9 p.m. Monday, January 3. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.



In the land of the twee, cloying is always just across a sliver-thin border from charming. Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps mostly keeps on the sunny side of the latter, even as the Minneapolis band's lead singer and songwriter scrawls the name of her latest crush ("Sweet Pea," of course) on bathroom stalls and sounds like she's auditioning for the next Zach Braff film. Smith and the Sleep's most recent release, 2008's Backyard Tent Set, has plenty of postpubescent indie-folk signifiers: glockenspiel, banjos and resentment against dickhead boys. But at the band's catchiest, as on the skiffling "Tying My Shoes" and the electric piano-glistened "Lack of Height," the sound captures the bittersweetness of temporary but always deeply felt affections.