Puzzles Like You
by Katie Sauro
Mojave 3’s fifth full-length rings of sunny California pop—much more so than any of their previous folk-oriented releases—complete with all the jangly keyboards, catchy hooks and blissful harmonies one can possibly stomach. The twinges of acoustic folk and the pervasive pedal steel remain, though they are not nearly as prominent as before. But Mojave 3 have so perfected the art of combining Beach Boys-esque pop with countrified Americana that you’d never guess that it all came from a bunch of Brits.
In fact, the only songs on the album where accents and sullen Brit-pop present themselves are the slower ones, such as “Most Days” and “You Said It Before.” But the shimmery pop songs and lilting alt-country tunes are what make Puzzles Like You a welcome addition to your record collection—somewhere between Belle and Sebastian, and, say, Old 97’s.
It’s been a few years since Mojave 3 released an album, having taken a few years off to explore solo careers and to work with other bands, but exploration has paid off in a big way, resulting in a record that may launch them from cult status to the British kings of Americana.
Mojave 3 makes its way through Seattle on September 25th at Neumos.