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Album Review

The Umbrellas crew as headed by Scott Windsor (who previously performed under the moniker the Lyndsay Diaries) is all about lovely indie pop. Illuminare continues on the path set out on their self-titled debut; it's gentle and mild-mannered with lightly swirling instrumentation of guitars, percussion, and simple electronics underneath the fairly breathy delivery of Windsor, who sounds like a cross between the Rocket Summer's Bryce Avary and Something Corporate's Andrew McMahon. Windsor is constantly walking a fine line into over-sensitivity, and his words are often so affectedly sung that one can practically see him staring off into the distance or pensively walking alone under a nighttime sky as he delivers each line. But regardless, when Illuminare's songs are good, they're really good. The immediately likable "Again & Again" scampers on a quasi-dance groove, while the spacious "We Fall" captivates with an unassuming air of control amid pale piano notes and faint electronic echoes. But unfortunately, instances like these only draw a bit more attention to those other times when listeners are left a bit unfulfilled. The uniform "Idle & Waiting" displays this perfectly, with Windsor's lackadaisical croon meandering its way along uneventfully before the subsequent Modest Mouse-like perkiness of "Angel or Demon" wakes listeners back up with clean, crisp guitar and whimsical keys. And while the delicate "Tests on My Heart" strips down to simple acoustics capably enough for a wounded assertion of heartbreak and insecurity, there's something much more satisfying in the nocturnal haze of "Ships." As a whole, however — and while not shedding any new light into the wide world of indie pop — the honest and tender approach of Illuminare proves it worthy of multiple spins.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

After issuing two albums and an EP of largely acoustic work under the moniker the Lyndsay Diaries, Scott Windsor further embraced his indie pop side with a new project, Umbrellas. Collaborating with various studio musicians -- including Chad Copelin, Nathan Price, and Eric Arndt -- Umbrellas debuted in spring 2005 with a self-titled collection of refreshing and dynamic pop music. Produced by Ed Rose, the album was issued through The Militia Group, the same label Windsor worked with for the Lyndsay...
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Illuminare, Umbrellas
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