album reviews

In Light
Glass Note (2011)

Kindred spirits: Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors.

Louisiana indie rockers Givers capture a jubilant liveliness on "In Light," the quintet's debut full-length. There's not a lethargic moment here, starting with the skittering energy of "Up Up Up," which recalls the vivaciousness of Animal Collective's breakout album, "Sung Tongs."

Elsewhere, though, "In Light" recalls Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors (Givers' former tour mates), with both an Afro-pop influence and a dance-heavy vibe. The band's exuberance is barely containable, from the yelping on "Noche Nada (A Lot From Me)" to the booty-shaking rhythm of "Ceiling of Plankton."

That energy is amplified by the vocal interplay between Taylor Guarisco and Tiffany Lamson. Whether individually or in unison, their voices add a brightness to these already sunny songs. Such buoyant tracks as "In My Eyes" and "Saw You First" are strengthened by the intensity that two forceful voices can bring.

The album is not without a little slip — the slow ballad "Go Out at Night" takes a bit too long to build momentum. But Givers quickly rectifies that misstep with the spirited "Words." Ultimately, "In Light" is what every indie-pop album should strive to be — an instant mood-lifter.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 14 October 2011
.: In Light on