There’s something refreshing about Headlights. Maybe it’s the way Some Racing, Some Stopping seems to have digested a lot of what was nice about twee pop, and less of what was twee about twee pop. Maybe it’s how the overarching emotion is a delicate, understated happiness, like a warm summer evening or a long drive with the windows down. Granted, the album isn’t terribly ambitious, but Headlights here have at least rivaled The Rosebuds’ Birds Make Good Neighbors as one of the most pleasant albums ever. Just one listen to “Cherry Tulips” is sure to win over Camera Obscura fans, with its happy organ strains and swooping female leads. And “Market Girl” is nearly worthy of its debt to Belle & Sebastian, a band not easily indebted to.
Of course it’s not all sunshine, and the Headlights happiness is the easily-dissipated sort (barely clocking over 30 minutes), and the male vocals are eerily reminiscent of that dude from Len, which makes you wonder when they’re going to break out with “Steal My Sunshine”. But in the end, it’s a charming, if short, ride.