Album Review: Worriers – Warm Blanket

4.5/5

Worriers, the de facto solo project of Lauren Denitzio, has always been based around both beautiful indie rock melodies and some strong punk rock guitars. For the fourth album of this project, Warm Blanket, Denitzio seems to shift their focus from indie punk to indie pop. Gone are the power chords (with a few exceptions). But those sweet and memorable melodies that are Worriers’ trademark are still all over this album.

Pop isn’t necessarily a dirty word. And this is a very classic type of pop. It’s a far cry from the commercialized pop of the big name stars. “Doom Scrolling” opens the album with a beat reminiscent more of ’50’s or ’60’s pop, complete with those retro vocal harmonies, which contrast the lyrics about the frustrations of modern social media technology.

“Prepared to Forget” keeps a similar basic beat with a warm bass sound and a gentle guitar that create a warm sound to a deeply sad song. The guitar solo at the end of the song is one of the most melancholy that you’ll ever hear. There’s a deep sense of longing and regret at leaving something that has to end. Then the title track is a huge emotional lift from the previous track. Those power chords come back a little in the chorus, but are still more restrained than on previous albums. But Denitzio’s vocal harmonies combined with the beautifully ‘90s hook make “Warm Blanket” a comfort tune.

While “Power Pop Mixtape” is a tribute to pop-punk and pop-rock classics, the guitars still remain a bit on the soft side as they jangle along. It’s a fun little gem of nostalgia. The synth-based “Pollen in the Air” has one of the album’s most stunning pop hooks. It will give you goosebumps on top of goosebumps. “Never Quite Kicks In” is also a heavily synth-based little ditty that clocks in at under 90 seconds. In it, Denitzio ruminates on mental health. “Provisional Hope” brings back the guitar that Worriers are so known for with a little side of piano. It’s amazing how much emotion can be packed into a song with no rhythm section. Finally “You Don’t Need Me” ends the album on a slow burn based in some simple drums and piano.

While some might miss the punk side of Worriers, Warm Blanket is still a thing of true beauty. It’s a powerful collection of simple melodies that evoke such warm and beautiful emotions that the title of the album seems to make perfect sense. It’s exactly the album you need for a pick me up. Even when the album has its sadder moments, they always give way to something more uplifting. This might just become the feel-good album of the year.

The album is available on Worriers’ Bandcamp page as a digital download or on some really gorgeous colored vinyl.

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