The first full length from The Broken West, once known as the Brokedown until they found out they shared the name with a Chicago band. They hold the record as the band I've seen the most in a single year. I saw them initially when they opened for the Walkmen early in the year, then a month or so later when they headlined. They came back in the summer to play the Taste of Randolph Street festival, and hit the town once again with the Whigs in late October. The nice thing about listening to indie stuff is that one can actually afford to see the same band a bunch of times in the same year.
This is simply good, straightforward indie pop/rock, and it's very impressive for a debut. And it's very West Coast. While bands like Beulah captured the San Francisco Sound, the Broken West are much more L.A. Laid back groovy pop-songs like You Can Build an Island and Slow are set among the driving pop beats of So It Goes and On the Bubble, and the almost country sounding Abigail.
There's really not much more I can say. It's not complicated. It's not groundbreaking. This album just does what it sets out to do very, very well. Here's the studio version of Down in the Valley, a live version of So it Goes, and a live version of You Can Build an Island: