Squish the Bad Man

How to Get to Heaven

Squish the Bad Man is a Davis duo that looks like it hired the art department from Awake magazine to design the cover of its debut. Dave Middleton and Julie Meyers wrote three songs apiece. With the exception of “Amelia’s Bones,” an out-of-place country romp from Meyers, the remaining five cuts here each tend to unwind for around six minutes, curling and vaporizing like teakettle steam. The opening track, Middleton’s “Arrivals/Departures,” surfs along gently on a gauzy jazz-pop chord progression, like some long-lost number by the oft-brilliant Northern English pop group Prefab Sprout. Meyers’ “I Don’t Want Things to Die Anymore” and Middleton’s “In the End We’ll Be Happy” have nice guitar work. It’s a promising debut; I look forward to hearing more.