Style: Experimental string band; compare to Cadillac Sky, The Farewell Drifters, Nickel Creek
Top tracks: "Soon or Never," "Movement and Location," "Kid A"
Punch Brothers' 2008 debut, Punch, served as a creative catharsis for the faith-shaking divorce of mandolin maestro Chris Thile. The band's new release, Who's Feeling Young Now?, reveals a more comfortable collaboration within the band's cosmopolitan newgrass fusion. The string band plays traditional instruments in nontraditional ways to exceptional effect; there's jazz flow, pop playfulness, and rock electricity. "Movement and Location" sounds like The Edge got hold of a banjo. Thile's lyrics are revealing yet restrained, and he can't escape writing about relationships and God. "This Girl" satirically prays, "There's this girl … / And I'd be the happiest backslider in the world / If you would tell her it's your will for us to be together."1