Neva Again

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 as this one before [if this one's the best so far, then how could it be true that he keeps writing the same one? i.e., "if true", the best it could be is equally 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. (Ladyhawk is also scheduled to perform).
Tue., May 27, 8:30 p.m., 2008