1. With every dying breath of the playful and/or breathy indie-folk of 2005-2006, my heart gets a little smaller in size. It seems more and more bands like Annuals are moving on from that era, when sparsely laid tracks dominated my playlists. '06's Be He Me was a welcome addition to that canon, sounding like a violin-overdosed jog through a summer field with just enough lo-fi exuberance to carry the day.
2. Thankfully, there are still a few acts today carrying the banner of yesterday. Fleet Foxes, Department of Eagles/Grizzly Bear, and Ida come to mind. Many more if I spent some time scanning my stacks, but the genre is no longer the "it" genre it was a few years ago.
3. Getting back to Annuals and despite the small death they are causing me via the winds of change, they are simultaneously planting new hope. Growth spurts like these I have no problem with. Tight, focused, melodic. Sweeping, confident, beautiful. Stabs of electric guitar have ignited a firestorm of criticism on indie message-boards comparing them to "intellectual" shrug-offs like Anberlin and Mae (if you flip to page 239 in your too-cool-for-school manual, you're not supposed to enjoy bands like Anberlin). I tore that page out.
In conclusion, here is my ruling. Thou shalt not mourn change for change itself. Give Annuals a shot and they may reward you...bi-annually?
[from Such Fun|buy]