With one prior full album and one EP, all self-recorded and released, Pocatello's indie folk duo Nyr Lif seems to be at a point where they want to make a creative thesis statement. With "Alameda" they combine all of the elements that make them who they are and condense it all into a compact easily digestible eleven track recording. "Alameda" begins with two of the most uplifting songs Nyr Lif has ever penned. "Sinatra" begins with the expected layered acoustica that we have come to love from them, but then builds into a vers-chorus pop tune with Casey Cathey singing along female harmonies. The following track "New York Blues" is the type of bluegrass plank stopper that Jack White could have been proud to write. At first the conventionality of the one-two punch of these songs might seem kind of strange from a band that has come to be known for meandering folky instrumentals but with repeat listening these songs reveal themselves to being the best on the album and perhaps some of the most solid song crafting from the band period. One might even find himself skipping back to listen to these songs over and over. After the pure pop sweetness of the first two tracks, the albums slows down a bit with "A Song for my Loves" and "We Are Fading". In 'Loves' we can hear the band trying to combine their more traditional moody soundscapes with this albums new singy approach. The mixture of layered guitars, double tracked vocals, and some pre-recorded sounds reminds me a lot of what made their last full length album "Two Legs Broken" a dense and complex listen. "We are Fading" is the first of a handful of tender stripped down ballads and it's probably the best one of that crop. The album is then bridged by three songs previous heard on their debut EP, though re-recorded and with the addition of more vocals. [...] These songs are potent enough to move this album along and show what the band is best at doing. [...] The album then ironically closes with their most staunchly experimental post-rock instrumental yet. "Star Gazing" is the type of lap-top bred track that has the same kind of slow building intensity and unpredictability as something that could have come off their first EP. For this reviewer "Alemeda" is a strange mix of the band I know Nyr Lif could be and the band they seem to want to become. More than likely this album will please most of their following and there is no reason why it shouldn't. The production is crisp and shimmering, the songs are all solid, and the album moves casually along for just the right amount of time. Nyr Lif is a band that is best when they seamlessly blend their blues and folk fingerpicking with a unique sense of buildup and tension. -Cassidy Robinson, TBA.