Rival Island (Shelflife Records)
Reviewed by Libby Webster, Fri., Aug. 11, 2017
She Sir's second album takes its time. A slow start eventually trickles into vaguely shoegaze guitar rock, mostly indiscernible singer Russell Karloff's voice stretched and drenched in effects to the point where the Austin quartet coheres behind atmosphere more than anything else. It's also impossible to hear Rival Island without immediately thinking of Real Estate, DIIV, and other purveyors of indie dream rock. The best parts of the album arise from She Sir's willingness to be playful in song arrangements, the way they carefully and smartly churn out a summery sway. "Noon Inspirits" surprises with a moment of isolated bongos and "Corporealoro" employs an unexpected funkiness via a sleepy, groovy riff. "Pheromondo (Babysitter's Back)" skews tropical, a saxophone darting in and out while infusing the track with brassy warmth.