Australia's Dappled Cities (formerly Dappled Cities Fly) open their sophomore album, Granddance, with "Holy Chord," a quasi-mystical pop anthem which has lead singer David Rennick raising his voice to a falsetto to match the pitch of jingling ritual bells, while the rest of the band supports him with rhythmic clapping and hypnotic drone. Throughout Granddance, Dappled Cities favor martial drums and grand gestures, looking to capture the bigness and dewy wonder of acts like The Flaming Lips, The Shins, and The New Pornographers. In fact, Dappled Cities may be too derivative of those bands, and more preoccupied with sound than songs. But Granddance has its share of good songs too—like "Work It Out," which buoys spirits even through shades of regret.
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