Music » Critics' Picks

These United States

7 p.m. Saturday, July 11. Luminary Center for the Arts, 4900 Reber Place.



Over the past year-and-a-half, Lexington, Kentucky's These United States has released a half-decade's worth of recorded material. But this isn't a band that's been holed up in a studio in lieu of hitting the road or an act interested in sticking to one stylistic formula. In fact, even as TUS continues to crisscross the United States and Europe, the stark contrast between the pace of its ambient, slow-motion debut, A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden, and the more rambunctious (and concisely titled) Crimes was stunning and refreshingly unexpected. This mix of revved-up, rootsy garage-folk and minimalist, slow-burning acoustic mood pieces makes for a very dynamic listening experience. At times, TUS calls to mind the charming minimalism of Lou Reed and the delicate, melancholy mindset of Mark Kozelek — but from there, the band effortlessly blasts off into hyper-detailed storytelling, rife with barroom grit and flourishes of pedal-steel twang.

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