The Times: Begin (self-released)

Double points for the richness of Peacock’s voice as he sings the refrain.

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It’s when Ashley Peacock’s voice gives way to falsetto on song two that I’m hooked. One hundred percent. Begin, this Cincinnati foursome’s debut, shimmers with solid songwriting, indie rock arrangements, and radio-friendly hooks. And the falsetto? Over-the-top fabulous. For example: “For you, my love will pass through time/I could leave this world behind.” Beautiful words when sung, yes—but slipping into falsetto? Heavenly.

Highlights on the disc include “Bird” (which finds Peacock wisely instructing, “You should know what comfort really means”), the Radiohead-inspired (falsetto!) “Begin,” and the piano-driven instrumental “End.” “Cincinnati rain and you’re washing my feet/let me drink you again,” sings Peacock to begin the dreamy “The First Day” (double points for the richness of Peacock’s voice as he sings the refrain). A crunchy guitar line forms the backbone to “Laser Beams,” on which Peacock dares, “You would love me”; this song would be perfectly at home on modern radio. Closing out the disc on a subdued yet strong note is “Nothing in Between,” a soaring ballad illuminated by gentle keyboards.

If independent bands are the wave of the future, then the Times are leading the pack. You’re your ears on these guys; it’s time for tomorrow to Begin. More info: www.thetimesband.com.

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