Los Campesinos!, ‘Hold On Now, Youngster…’ (Arts & Crafts)
“Knee Deep at ATP” perfectly distills the Los Campesinos! aesthetic. Powered by careening guitar, melancholy violin, and lyrics that reference the U.K.’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival and a K Records T-shirt, the track compresses a novel’s worth of indie-rock experience into 2:47. “Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(s)” accomplishes a similar feat, dropping Jane Eyre and the Dewey decimal system into a buzzing melody that taps both ABBA and Annie. The album is no mere spot-the-influence exercise, though. Spirited and frenetic, Hold On adds up to more than just the sum of the band’s five-star libraries.