A Lion Named Roar takes a huge, atmospheric sound that reflects an indie aesthetic, and then marries it to equally grand pop ambitions aimed squarely at the thinking-man’s mainstream. Think fun. in bed with The National all of it delivered with a bracing self-confidence and unapologetic commercial appeal.
This five-piece, led by Chris Jackson and Tyler Anderson, fills the six songs on “Foreign Land” with an album’s worth of sweeping melodies and vocal arrangements so pretty they’d make Ben Sollee blush. The EP is bracketed by “All I Know Is Changing” and “This Won’t Last for Long,” song-of-the-year candidates that are linked thematically and by how sweetly, yet mercilessly, they attack the Hot 100.
The sing-along choruses that dominate tracks like “All I Know Is Changing” and “Noon” have both an artisan’s skill and a journeyman’s sweat built into their core, songs that sound like they would be at home on both discerning radio playlists and the noisy din of local club stages.
A Lion Named Roar is positioned to make a lot of noise in 2013. The band could cite accomplishments to dazzle their skeptics, but their confidence lies in the music.