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Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months 

Yes-Wave

Cast away your aspersions: Julia Sets have arrived. They're veterans of the St. Louis scene, playing their Midwestern brand of garage rock to small, devoted crowds. But it wasn't until the release of Yes-Wave that they truly cemented their position as one of the more formidable local rock bands. They did it quite simply, too, with resonant guitar and vocals courtesy of James Weber Jr., Black-Deal harmonies provided by bassist Kate Eddens, and Kris Boettigheimer underlining the story on drums. The influences are clear: a lot of Replacements, a lot of Farrar and Tweedy, a little Springsteen and a little more Neil Young. But they manage to clear the hurdle that trips so many other bands with such noticeable and notable stimuli: They don't sound like any of their forebears. These are people who came of age in the '80s, people who know what it's like to see in black and white, people who would rather be art than think about it. That's exactly how Yes-Wave sounds, thanks to Weber's focus. He is a songwriter, and he at last proves it here. He writes songs about love and loss and plain living, sharpening all of life's dull edges until you feel you might scrape yourself if you rub up too close.

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January 26, 2022

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