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The Ideal Soundtrack to an Early Spring

The Apples in Stereo's members craft a charming, modestly shambling mini-epic.
The Apples in Stereo's members craft a charming, modestly shambling mini-epic.

Like a more cheerful incarnation of Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard, The Apples in Stereo's Robert Schneider peppers his band's new album with a lot of sweet little asides and half-formed ideas — a chorus without a verse, a verse without a chorus, a handful of instrumental interludes. While the net result exudes good-natured joy, it's no surprise that some of his songs beg to be fleshed out and made whole.

Fortunately, though it runs only two and a half minutes, "Sun Is Out" functions as a charming, modestly shambling mini-epic, complete with discrete movements that culminate in a full-on power-pop blowout. It's not exactly intellectually taxing — "The sun is out / The sun is out / So c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon / Check it out!" — and it never entirely coheres: It's basically three likable interludes strung together. Nevertheless, the effect remains infectious and beguiling throughout. After all, "Sun Is Out" functions as the ideal soundtrack to an early spring, so what's not to love?

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)