Neva Dinova

The jaunty, strummed rhythm of "Squirrels" counters the sentiment at its center; frontman Jake Bellows notices a squirrel doing "backflips for change, for a lady who vacuums her heartache away," before the brokenhearted singer confesses, "I just keep writing the same song." It's a boon if true, because Neva Dinova hasn't generated a song or album as good. The Omaha quintet combines the spirits of hope, resilience, and surrender in moving forward from their sadcore origins with their third album, You May Be Dreaming. They arrive at a folksy shuffle, several miles up the road from their hazy, shimmering lope. Bellows' dour croon still surfs swells of distorted guitar on tracks like "Someone's Trippin'," but mostly they deliver a moody, rootsy sound whose strong atmospheric mien recalls Wilco on Quaaludes. It's an effective approach, offering an insistent homespun warmth to complement the slumbering, low-tempo sway, while country rock's hard-luck preoccupations dovetail nicely with Bellows' never-ending ache ("Funeral Home," "No One Loves Me"). It's their first release for Conor Oberst's Saddle Creek label, following a split EP with Oberst in '04, though the rustic, dyspeptic attitude obviously fits the label's style. After 15 years of making music, Bellows has uncovered a particularly winsome sound.

 
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