Golden Age

Who doesn’t like to think about the good ol’ days? Chris Staples explores his own bright past on Golden Age, a collection of tunes that have a true tenderness to them, evoking the feeling of singing on the back porch while taking in the last of the day’s sun. The album centers around Staples examining what life was like before a series of misfortunes—in health and love—swept across his path. In line with the throwback theme, there’s a strong musical parallel here to the 1990s indie sounds of Death Cab for Cutie or The Weakerthans, but Staples holds his own, especially with the foot-tappin’ “Golden Age” and “Full Color Dream.” Though the album’s message is focused on bringing the happier times into the present, there’s still a palpable sadness that seems to frame each song—from Staples’ soft vocal delivery to the steady, stripped-down instrumentation. That’s the thing about nostalgia, though—it’s always caked in melancholy.