You May Already Be Dreaming – Neva Dinova

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Three albums deep into their catalog, Omaha's Neva Dinova is not poised to break into the mainstream — nor is it likely that the band ever will be. At its least charming, this band is the melancholy soundtrack to a lonely night at the bar. Album opener “Love From Below” is a sleepy, pleasant sink into sadness; on a whiskey-fueled evening, it might be your favorite song, but you'd be hard-pressed to remember it in the morning. Elsewhere, tracks like “Squirrels” and “What You Want” pick up the pace, but mix well-meant metaphor with awkward execution.

Older fans will likely be harsher critics than new listeners; You May Already Be Dreaming lacks both the lazy innocence of their debut and the irresistible urgency of its follow-up. This is not to say that Neva Dinova has hit a complete plateau. At their best, the band is a Pernice Brothers for a new generation: simple, rich, and endearing. This is evident in songs like “She's a Ghost”, where frontman Jake Bellows' smooth vocals are the perfect foil for blunt lines like “Don't let no one into your heart.” The album's closing track, “A Man and His Dream”, makes up for the album's humble beginnings by recalling a 1950s prom slow dance. As a whole, Neva Dinova is not a band to turn to for reinvention, but, like the band playing in the back of the bar, they are consistent where it counts.