9yrs‘ bio says the band’s music is the product of tension, conflict, and a “consistent battle” between the music and the singer’s vocals — very little of which is overly noticeable in their first album, This Is 9 Years. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you: Although the arrangements do enjoy their share of tension, these songs are perfectly poppy in an eminently listenable way, with a cohesive overall sound that adroitly walks the line between vintage modern rock angst and sleek, radio-ready songcraft. All of which is to say that while you may not necessarily hear vocalist Ivie attempting “to keep the songs in the world of pop” while her bandmate Derek “frantically tries to kick them out,” you will appreciate the obvious talent and attention to detail that went into these songs — as well as the vaguely Debbie Harry-esque way Ivie’s vocals soar over Derek’s cleanly produced performances. It all adds up to a record that feels comfortingly familiar enough to draw you in, but fresh enough to keep you coming back for repeat listens.