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The Epochs: Pop Gets Earnestly Expressive

The playful and inventive Brooklyn band The Epochs specializes in pop music inspired by new-school dance and old-school soul. The band's full-length debut seems equally suited to fans of The Postal Service and Maroon 5: It's thoughtful and danceable while remaining undeniably pop-friendly, especially once it gets to the album-closer "Giving Tree."

It's no surprise, given the title's sentimental nod to Shel Silverstein, that "Giving Tree" is a slice of earnestly expressive pop, with electronic samples catchy enough to make even the most jaded listeners reach for the repeat button. With breathy vocals echoing over carefully arranged drum tracks, The Epochs' members know when to highlight and when to limelight, self-producing a song that's difficult to peg to any genre.

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Chantal de la Rionda