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Project Film's debut album, Chicago, was one of the first to come out on the duo's own label, Tandem Shop, back in 2010. It was also one of the first records I ever reviewed. Scratchy, hissy, and charming in its bare-bones fidelity, the album was recorded while Megan Frestedt and I were both still undergrads at University of Chicago. We'd lived in the same dorm for our first two years at college; after moving out, she joined a band and founded a label with her friend Sam McAllister. They knew each other from Minneapolis, where they'd both lived before moving to Chicago for school. Now the pair of longtime friends have released their second album together, Different Rooms, and it's a polished, sweetly melodic document of their growth over the past four years.
McAllister still sings like the Ben Gibbard fan that he is, but his music reminds me of all the good memories I have of listening to Death Cab For Cutie as a teen without bringing up any of the reservations I have about the band now. Project Film's sophomore effort offers gentle indie rock lacerated by a few surprising moments of distorted electric guitar. It slipped quietly into the world at the very end of December, but I'm happy to hear it now at the beginning of the new year.
Different Rooms is available now as a pay-what-you-want download from Project Film's Bandcamp. Stream it below.