The Needle Drop

The Dodos - "Competition"

New MusicjeremyComment Indie-rock duo The Dodos have had a nice little trajectory, breaking through with their second record, Visiter, and following that up with nicely produced variations on their themes, with slightly hit-or-miss results: 2009's Time to Die was a little forgettable, while 2011's No Color was sharp and vibrant. On last year's Carrier, The Dodos showed a slightly mellower, more contemplative side--especially since much of it was based on how the pair felt in the wake of the death of a friend. But now they're back with their sixth record, Individ, due out next year, and the first single to be dropped from it a cool Dodos-style rocker. Kicking off with a deep, quick drum beat, the song already sounds like an insistent breath of fresh air coming after Carrier's more muted tones. The song still lacks a little bit of frontman Meric Long's oft-incredible guitar work--just check out older tunes like "Jodi" and "Paint the Rust"--but it's a splendid tasting of what the album could offer. There was a time when The Dodos were both thoughtful and fun, and it looks like they could be headed back there.

Individ is out Jan 27, via Polyvinyl.