For Headlights, home is where the heart is.
Since their reformation in 2004, CU’s own nationally popular indie-pop rockers have been writing, recording and touring at a scorching pace with a couple hundred shows, an EP and two full-lengths to their credit.
“It’s been a crazy couple of years. It’s been hard on our health at times,” keyboardist and vocalist Erin Fein said, laughing.
But among all the hectic craziness, the band managed to find some peace and quiet to make some noise when percussionist Brett Sanderson and Fein moved into guitarist Tristan Wraight’s Champaign farmhouse where they wrote and recorded their new release, Some Racing, Some Stopping.
“We practice and write and record and cook dinner together … pay our bills together. It’s pretty ridiculous how involved we are with each other,” Wraight said.
Together in his home, set among fields of corn and soy, the trio crafted their newest release, a follow-up to 2006’s Kill Them with Kindness. By moving into their workspace, Headlights was given the opportunity to make Some Racing as perfect as possible.
“One of the problems that we had with Kill Them with Kindness was that we started the band just so we could tour,” Wraight said. “A lot of the songs were written over a long period of time and lost a bit of their cohesion. On this record, we really wanted to take time to get sounds we really like and make sure the songs were treated the right way, which you really can’t afford to do in a real studio unless you have a huge budget.”
Some Racing is beautifully textured and has all the lovable pop sugar of Kill Them with Kindness but without the ambient electronic overkill of Headlights’ first full-length effort. The new album blends sharp instrumentation with an uncanny ability to make melancholy songs sound sweet.
Nick Sanborn of Decibully and John Owen of Shipwreck will be joining the trio on tour, including when Headlights bring their homegrown pop back to CU tonight at their record release party at the Canopy Club. The show, also featuring Evangelicals and Tall Tale, costs $8 in advance.

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