The Afternooners craft a complex and invigorating mix of alt-rock, pop and indie rock rhythms, a sound that’s as familiar as it is open to reinterpretation. Built around the complicated dynamics of singer-guitarist Bryce Cronan, keyboardist Ben Stephens and drummer Blake Harmon, the music is buoyant but not without its darker moments, evincing a wide array of emotions and experiences that inform the tenor and tonalities that lay within. The band is not shy in their adoration of certain sounds — notably, a chiming, jammy pop-rock swagger that informs their work to a large degree.
You can hear this rousing musical influence throughout the 4 tracks that make up their new EP, “Some Nothing, “ a collection that owes as much to late ‘90s alt-rock radio as it does to a more nuanced indie rock aesthetic. The band offers up their heartfelt stories with a pomp and theatricality that allows them to charge headlong into these landscapes and to explore these characters and narratives without losing any momentum or inherent energy.
Opening with the spacey rock stomp of “Brand New,” they blend layered harmonies and uptempo melodies into a roiling pop-fueled cacophony, developing an atmosphere of catchy and dense movements that tug at your ear while digging their way into your heart. “It's All Been Noticed” is a jaunty, breezy romp with brief piano and key flourishes which add a slightly different tone and texture to the song, delivering on the idea of adaptation and evolution in which they seem to be so melodically invested.
There’s something distinctly beach-y about “Habitual Jimmy” — it might be the airy guitars, spry keys or loping percussion, but the song evokes sunny days among friends and forgetting the troubles of the day for a few minutes. EP closer “Do Your Thing” is anchored by a slithering bassline that adds weight to the track’s introspective narrative, an empowering story of holding fast to your own ideals and pushing back against unrealistic expectations. And that’s really what they do so well — they create these bright, summery sounds that pack a sizable emotional punch, the kind of unpredictable musical complexity which seems to elude other artists but which The Afternooners explore so effortlessly.