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Not in a Bad Way, Partner by Napsack

Sifting through Bandcamp's newest releases is like sifting through an unalphabetized used bookstore. You can't look for any specific authors, so you open books to random pages, eye up pretty covers, glance over plot summaries.

But you know what you're looking for: a gem. Like, Not in a Bad Way, Partner by Napsack. And, like other bands profiled here, Napsack's page has no outside links to social media, no band members cited, not even some brief appendix with recording details. There's just two naked tracks, only 4:37 in total length, infinitely replayable, well-crafted and well-versed rock.

On the opener, rich clean channel guitar and equally pristine vocals meld together, following unspoken rules of dynamics, flare ups and cool downs, singer mentioning mysteriously "I'll meet you across the lake". A curious distortion fades-in at 0:20 and never reappears again. At higher levels, the vocals get even richer, like boosted analog tubes, more pronounced before dissolving into reflection: "took a pillow to your head / and you wouldn't leave the bed."

Musically, Napsack avoids the lo fi pitfalls of overdone saturation or garage rock's tired vamps on recycled chords. There's a carefully structured verse here, tidy flourishes there (perhaps a voicemail is sampled on "Somebody"), songs teasing in the way the best pop songs do. "Somebody" details looking for something, somebody else after wasting too much time under the same, overplayed skies. Good songs like these remind you there is more, gems like Napsack themselves are hidden everywhere, keep searching. Released 5/6/19. Listen below.

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