Sometimes a young band will say or do things that give you pause long before you have a chance to hear their music. For example, when a band says things like "We're kind of divorcing ourselves from the poppy, verse-chorus-verse stuff." Or when they name their first full-length album after a book by Kierkegaard. These are not usually promising signs; they usually portend extremely long songs that will go no place in particular and will tell you far more than you ever wanted to know about the deep inner workings of the twenty-something singer's soul. For In Praise of Folly, though, the whole abstract-structure-and-philosophy thing works pretty well. Singer Benjamin Verdoes does sometimes get just a bit too Robert Smith — both vocally ("Back and Forth") and lyrically ("We're safe inside this pain of mine...I'm just doing awful things and I could never get my wings") — but he and his bandmates create an overall sound that is complex without being precious, and sonically straightforward without being obvious. "Sky Directly" is one of the lovelier things to come out of Seattle in the last few years, and the carousel-waltz of "Seemingly Perfect" is sweet and unironic — even when it collapses into rockish bombast. Nice stuff.