Florida natives Soft Targets aren't exactly new to the indie scene, but it's quite possible that they've slipped under your radar thus far, which is a shame. The three-piece group released their excellent sophomore album, Heavy Rainbow, near the end of last year, a followup to their 2005 debut, Frequent Flyer, which is also worth a listen. Their sound starts with a classic indie rock template and adds instrumental flourishes (strings, horns, keys) as needed to enhance frontman Jesse Corry's emotionally charged lyrics and distinctive tenor voice. It's a winning formula that the band have refined from their first album to last year's more mature, focused effort.
What makes Heavy Rainbow such an interesting and engaging listen is Soft Targets' ability to provide a new twist on a familiar format. The difference can be mostly attributed to Corry's detailed, offbeat stories and his unique sense of melody that keeps the music from becoming too comfortable or relaxed. The band compliment his style with constantly shifting tempos and dynamics, resulting in songs that keep your mind at attention and offer more than a few surprises. "The World Looks Bigger Now" slides smoothly from a low-key verse to a funk-inspired chorus, "So Long, Baby Burns" goes from earnest and sincere to sinister and back again, and "Sirens" rides an arpeggiated key riff and some silky falsetto vocals in a refreshingly strange pop tune.
Soft Targets are certainly a band worth your time, so check them out on MySpace to hear a few tracks from each of their albums, or head over to their website for news, lyrics, and other info.