Precocious Teens Enroll In University of Pitchfork

    Avi Buffalo

    Avi Buffalo

    Sub pop

    Long Beach natives Avi Buffalo have just barely graduated high school, but that hasn’t stopped them from seizing the undying love of Pitchfork’s buzz-meter. Signed to Sub Pop — the Seattle indie label that made the Shins a household name — Buffalo will most likely become the Fleet Foxes of 2010.

    After building live hype at vegan restaurants and this year’s South By Southwest festival, Avi Buffalo have finally recorded their self-titled debut. And Pitchfork’s right: It’s no letdown.

    Seeing as their chins are still covered in peach fuzz, this foursome’s sound is mature beyond their years. With soft-spoken, dreamy vocal trails and warm psychedelic guitars, they channel the best of 1960s folk-rock.

    But metaphorical coming-of-age desires often devolves into clumsy poetry that just doesn’t make sense. “Summer Cum” romantically (and unsubtly) pleads some unlucky girl to “leave all your stains with me.” The hidden message is anyone’s guess.

    Opener “Truth Sets In” is comparable to the childish musings of Kimya Dawson — posterchild of the “Juno” soundtrack — with its simplistic acoustic strums and cutesy vocals about the wonders of growing up.

    The album’s core appeal comes in the form of abundant harmony. Lead singer Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg’s boyish chant complements keyboardist Rebecca Coleman’s soulful, jangly melodies from fade-in to fade-out.

    Buffalo’s optimism makes them an exciting act to look out for, but let’s just hope they don’t mature too fast — Zahner-Isenberg’s high-pitched hums aren’t likely to survive the ravages of puberty.

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