Spotlight \

The Only Children

Who? Hailing from Lawrence, KS, the Only Children features former Anniversary guitarist Josh Berwanger, his wife and bassist Heidi-Lynne Gluck, guitarist Ricky Salthouse, drummer Ryan Benton, and second guitarist Casey Prestwood. The gritty, country-tinged collective deliver their sophomore album, Keeper of Youth via the Sidecho imprint on Tuesday (May 22). Youthful it may be — particularly in terms of energy and buoyancy — Keeper makes strong references to older rock’n’roll, particularly ’70s classic rock and folk (and a few pop tresses).

What’s the Deal? Christina Aguilera isn’t the only artist bringing it “back to basics,” and after one riff from the Only Children, you may want to give the latter more credit. “Tired of This Town” is anything but languid, laced with bluesy harmonica and a rock’n’roll snarl. “Amen Amen” goes down like a rich mélange of Wilco and the Raconteurs and the choir at your hometown’s gospel church. On “Keeper of Youth,” Berwanger’s vocals are deliberate and seasoned, perhaps with an inkling of the raw candor of Neil Young. In fact, Keeper of Youth has such a tattered and classic feel that it’s obvious the Only Children owe a lot to their musical forbearers.

Fun Fact: When Josh Berwanger isn’t busy touring with the Only Children, Berwanger hits the basketball court. “In the fall, I take time off from music to coach freshman girls basketball at my old high school,” Berwanger tells SPIN.com. “I also play on a community basketball team called Chico’s Bail Bonds in my hometown of Lawrence. My coaching record is far better then my playing record. Coaching, we haven’t had a losing season. As to the team I play on, we haven’t had a winning season.” TRICIA SUMMERS

Now Hear This: The Only Children – “Tired of This Town” DOWNLOAD MP3

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