For a While, by Dolly Varden

December 25, 2012

Steve Dawson of the five-piece band Dolly Varden shows sharp lyrical skill on the plaintive “Del Mar, 1976,” which invokes water towers and “the sad songs of the ’70s playing soft from a radio at the bottom of her stairs.” Dawson and wife Diane Christiansen offer fine vocal interplay on the punchy rockers “Done (Done)” and “Temperamental Comple­ment.” It’s smart, country-tinged alt-pop riding the wings of winning melodies. Highly recommended.