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Bascom Hill

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Throughout the Midwest, from intimate coffeehouses to sprawling outdoor festivals, they’ve chiseled a unique niche for themselves, with a sound that nods toward Jack Johnson but with more aggressive vocals and Dave Mathews but with a tighter pop focus, plus a shot of Radiohead’s willingness to take chances. Fans that range literally from six into their sixties connect with their songs, each of which bristles with catchy hooks and rides on a rush of melody.

All this is clear throughout Maybe, the band’s debut release on Arrival Records. “Day After Day,” with its soaring invitation to “open my eyes”; “Stained,” a swirl of exotic riffs and unanswered questions about love’s illusions; “Angels Weep,” whose searching lyric and ringing harmonies won it a perfect 5.0 rating among listeners on garageband.com — these and all the other tracks on Maybe capture the sound and spirit that Bascom Hill have built through years of work, going back to their blue-collar roots as kids in Kenosha.

But this album is also about a band at the crossroads, sequestered in a Texas studio, with just four days to strip everything they’ve done down to its essence and build it up again. Most artists would have dodged that challenge, but these guys met it head-on, ate it up, and emerged as a band reborn and ready for everything the future has to offer.

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