It's been two and a half decades since Cocteau Twins concocted the formula, but there's still something thrilling about a moody chanteuse backed by soaring, symphonic ambiance. Headlights is the newest avatar of the form -- and while its sound soars and sighs with the best of them, the trio puts its own spin on the tradition. Launched two years ago from the wreckage of the Illinois space-rock outfit Absinthe Blind, Headlights began as a songwriting collaboration between keyboardist Erin Fein and guitarist Tristan Wraight, whose entwined harmonies and dreamy hooks were captured on the group's sole release, an EP titled Enemies that owes as much to Rainer Maria and Denali as it does to the more celestial sounds of shoegazer. Fein and Wraight are touring with new drummer Brett Sanderson and multi-instrumentalist Nick Sandborn, and will unleash a split single with the Most Serene Republic this spring while they finish their debut full-length. If Enemies is any indication, the new disc ought to be over everyone's head -- in a good way.


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