Sometimes we just need to be uplifted. When the doldrums of the work-week hustle n' bustle, the stresses of endless job tedium and the increasingly dire state of the world begins to wear us down -- sometimes just a little hope is in order.
There's a reason why a band like, say, Arcade Fire took off in such a meteoric rise in 2004: They were mightily cathartic. Listeners found release and comfort in their communal push to overcome.
It's also the reason why Portland band Ages and Ages resonate so heartily with their fans: They're masters of uplift.
The Northwest five-piece (that plays Soda Bar on Saturday, Aug. 27) craft rollicking indie-folk/pop with stomping, propulsive rhythms and group singalong vocals led by guitarist/singer (and founding member) Tim Perry.
Like Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" more than a decade ago, there's something irrestible about Ages and Ages' music. Maybe it's the sense of triumph that enlightens their music, or the sheer feel-good-ness of their choral-pop tunes -- but whatever you're going through, you'll feel a bit better after popping on their new album "Something to Ruin" [listen/buy it here] or watching the brilliant video for "Divisionary (Do the Right Thing)."
Heck, even President Barack Obama (a guy that know a thing or two about "hope"), tapped the band's "No Nostalgia" for inclusion on his official 2012 Spotify playlist. While Perry and didn't exactly sound thrilled when he found out their song had been co-opted by the president ("I kept searching for all the ways I was mistaken," Perry told Rolling Stone back in 2012, "but it just kept being true"), can you really blame Obama for being a fan?
After all, sometimes we just need to be uplifted -- even the Commander-in-Chief.
Dustin Lothspeich books The Merrow; plays in Diamond Lakes and Boy King; and runs the music-equipment-worshipping blog Gear and Loathing in San Diego. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.