When lovebirds go through major breakups, they don't need a good friend or a good bartender. They need a good band — a crew that can brighten their sorrows with a mix of energetic riffs and identifiable refrains. The Heavenly States are one such group. Opening track "Morning Exercise" off the Oakland act's latest release, Delayer, has a chorus perfect for the mopers among us: "It hurts so bad, this goes on the record." But the powerhouse quality of Ted Nesseth's voice — combined with dizzying keyboard melodies and anthemic guitar chords — transforms the admission of vulnerability into an affirmation of strength. The rest of the record keeps listeners' chins up with happy indie pop that cuts the difference between the Thermals and Mates of State. It's no surprise that Delayer's cheer reached all the way to the Spoon camp: the Austin act asked the Heavenly States to open for all three nights of its Fillmore run in late September.
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