Partly inspired by lead singer Kevin Murphy’s time spent in solitude working through his depression and disappointments in Ketchikan, AK, a picturesque fishing village that boasts misty fjords nearby, Tidelands – the remarkable sophomore effort from Seattle’s fast-rising Moondoggies – is awash in indelible three-part harmonies, serious pedal steel and heart-rending contemplations, self-analysis and frustration at life’s unanswerable existential miseries. The Neil Young-esque album opener “It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity” packs a punch of charming melancholy and finger-pointing, with Murphy asking, “Don’t you wish you’d be surprised/When you become what you despise?” to the mirror or the audience, and in reality it doesn’t matter. Rootsy and accessible ruminations that pose valid questions and yield few chances at easy redemption from a roving pack of world-weary journeymen (check out “Lead Me On,” “Down the Well,” “We Can’t All Be Blessed”) never go out of style. Just ask the Traveling Wilburys and Band of Horses. With Tidelands, the Moondoggies’ bleary-eyed blend of hazy and soulful Americana has evolved into a trip as satisfying as a lakeshore vacation with your closest friends and no other agenda beyond bonfires and sunsets. So take a load off, pop a cold one, and settle in – this rolling fog is going to be around for a spell. (Hardly Art/Subpop) –Carrie Alison