Boats indulge in a little browsing (Valentin Mittelsett)
Sophomore albums may get all the attention, but there's something magical about the third album. For Boats, a local band of pop experimentalists led by Mat Klachefsky, things are set to ramp up with the release of their third outing, A Fairway Full Of Miners.
Due out February 5 via influential U.S. label Kill Rock Stars, the new record sees Boats settle into a comfortable middle ground between the jittery, junk-shop pop that informed 2007's Intercontinental Champion and 2010's Cannonballs Cannonballs and more ambitious arrangements.
"It ended up going in both directions," Klachefsky says. "I expanded things on some songs, made them more intricate -- but other songs I kept very simple. It was intentional. Sometimes it was just like, 'what happened to guitar and drums?'"
Klachefsky also opted to be more precise with his lyrics. For every tune about glowing bears and "escaping the spectral plane of existence and reappearing at a football game," there's a straightforward song about getting older and navigating adulthood. "I tried to be more coherent," he says. "It's less stream-of-consciousness."
The new record is already starting to get traction in the press, and Marblemouth, a three-song bonus cassette Boats released in December, cracked Earshot's Top 10. After years of lineup changes and fits and starts, the momentum is encouraging. And as far as Klachefsky's concerned, this is the album to get things rolling.
"I think it's our best yet," he says. "It's our most thoughtful."