Listen to I Never Meant It to Be Like This by Cumulus
I Never Meant It to Be Like This
Album · Alternative · 2013
The Seattle indie rock trio Cumulus was on the verge of self-releasing its debut album, I Never Meant It to Be Like This, when Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla sent the group an email asking if he could do the honors and release it on his Trans Record label. It’s easy to realize why, especially upon hearing the album’s slower, somber tracks like “Ocean Song” and “Wanderlust,” where the threesome captures the rainy-day atmospherics of groups like The Clientele and Trembling Blue Stars. A pop tune such as “End of the World” carries enough weight to not blow away in the twee-pop wind. Singer Alexandra Niedzialkowski’s helium-like vocals often sound on the verge of floating away, and on the album opener, “Do You Remember,” they seem dangerously close to doing just that; guitarist Lance Umble and bassist Leah Julius help root the melodies with simple but effective arrangements. When the band get cutesy it can feel a bit affected, but why should angst and cynicism be the only valid ways to express oneself?

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