• Delilahs
  • Delilahs (October) 1994 
  • Dying to Build a Bridge (October) 1995 

The Delilahs’ two albums offer earnest folk-pop with occasional snapshots of R.E.M.’s infancy. At times reminiscent of a much milder Bob Mould, vocalist Aaron Seymour guides the Minneapolis quintet through cathartic music that flips from happy to sad with less notice than a car wreck. On the band’s self-titled debut, “Beats the Hell Out of Me” lets the harmonies do the hooking; “Who’s Gonna Stop Me” has a rich sadness evocative of vintage Beau Brummels.

Better production (again by John Munson and John Strawberry Fields) gives Dying to Build a Bridge a listener-friendly sheen while presenting a more solemn, message-based set of songs, including “Man on a Mission,” “Feels Like a Job” and “Wasting My Time.” Even when the band threatens to get too serious, there are harmony vocals to cool things off.

[Jordan Oakes]