The Senators are aware that their acoustic sound and vest-friendly look create expectations they didn't even two years ago. "Everyone is wearing vests and suspenders now," Jesse Teer told us back in December. "That look is just vogue right now." Their sound is vogue, too — "Cross of Gold," the title track of their 2012 EP, doesn't go to the overdynamic lengths of a Mumford and Sons single, but it's got the propulsive, bells-and-strumming sound that M and S made famous and/or infamous. If you've been hiding from the Mumfords ever since they landed on American shores, though, don't write off the Senators — the difference is in their tone, which lacks the stentorian sadness of the genre's most unavoidable earworms. The Senators take themselves seriously, but their loose, melodic songs don't collapse into the kind of acoustic-apocalyptic fervor that closes, say, Phillip Phillips' "Home." If you've found yourself listening to that song and liking something about it, almost against your will, The Senators, lighter and more versatile, are the answer to a question you didn't want to ask out loud.
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