Best Albums of 2015: ‘Turn to Each Other’ by And the Kids (No. 9)

Photo by Chattman Photography.

Photo by Chattman Photography.

Continuing with a countdown of the best (read: my favorite) albums of 2015, we land on “Turn to Each Other,” the debut LP from And the Kids, at No. 9. (See No. 10 here.)

It’s a remarkable debut LP from the Northampton trio, featuring 11 tightly constructed, wholly self-assured songs that strike a balance between hooky and weird. Singer Hannah Mohan has a lively, robust voice that she employs to riveting effect at the head of choir-like vocals on “All Day All Night.” She shows a wonderfully off-kilter range on “Neighbors,” and lets her voice ring out on opener “Pangea” over see-saw guitar and a thumping beat.

The band blends an unusual mix of instruments, but the restless interplay between keyboards and guitar on “No Countries,” or setting clanging electric guitar alongside glockenspiel on “Secret Makeout Factory,” feels natural to the point of intuitive. The latter is also the song where Mohan declares, “Let us take off our pants and we’ll argue less.” Seems reasonable.

And the Kids ran into a major obstacle even before “Turn to Each Other” came out in February when multi-instrumentalist Megan Miller, a Canadian citizen, wasn’t allowed back into the U.S. after visiting family in Ottawa last December. After playing as a duo for part of the winter, Mohan and drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro added bassist Taliana Katz to round out the live lineup, which proved plenty powerful when the band performed at Look Park in Northampton over the summer as part of Lake Street Dive’s Amourasaurus festival.

What’s next for And the Kids after such a compelling debut? Hopefully an album that brings together the talents of all four women.

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