Wes Kaplan has a knack for naming. A while back, the Boston native chose “The Craters” as his moniker, and his last EP, Kids Can Tell, evokes a youthful reveling even before the first few sunny guitar notes chime in. His newest album on Designer Medium Records, American English, continues the pattern, eliciting a feeling of balance between thoughtful consideration and a hint of punk dissent.
Both features are present in The Craters’ newest single off of American English, “I Was Around.” A mixture of The Beach Boys, Animal Collective, and garage rock, the song builds around lo-fi guitars, a steady beat, and a catchy melody. The song is mostly peppy and graspable—with a good dose of pop—but it also has darker, more complicated undertones, marked by unexpected intervals in the guitar, interesting phrasings, and the quickly descending vocals that don’t offer up the lyrics easily until the echoing refrain that gives the track its title. “I Was Around” also moves with a tension formed around its tightly repetitive structure, slowly escalating into an instrumental release towards the end. It’s a satisfying hint of what’s to come in early April.