January 5, 2016 | by Bryne Yancey

It can be an odd thing to consider music not necessarily on its artistic merits at first, but rather on its time and place and the moment it perhaps either creates or helps maintain.

Nostalgia, and the entire economy surrounding it what with deluxe reissues, full album shows and reunion tours, depends on our willingness as fans to revisit that time and place for a night, and perhaps only remember the good parts because that’s what we do a lot of the time as human beings. If you’re single, for example, think about your most recent long-term relationship. You probably remember how it ended, especially if it ended badly, but provided there’s been enough distance between that end and now, it’s likely—and hopeful, for the sake of your own wellbeing—that your memories of that relationship are mostly what was good about it while it was happening. We don’t forget the bad times, in fact we try to learn from them if we can, but our brains have a weird way of self-preservation about them, and so we remember being with someone, loving them unconditionally and the scary thrill and fulfilling happiness that can come with that, and we’re not sad and wistful about its end as much as we’re just glad it happened in the first place.

I realize that’s a perfect scenario and that few real-life scenarios are indeed perfect, but I would hope that if you’re reading this and are newly out of a relationship, that eventually embracing the nostalgia of it on your own (god, whatever you do don’t bother your former partner with this) will be helpful and that you’ll come to look back fondly on the good times you had with a person, whether it was for a year or five or more. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish; it takes hard work and deep reconciliation with your own words and actions and inactions and maybe a few good cries, but you’ll get there, to that point of positive nostalgia. I think being there is one reason I enjoy Laika’s Orbit as much as I do. No Matter What It Takes, the New England band’s new LP, is full of reflection on past relationships and anxiety-ridden failures, but there’s a certain warmth and timelessness to these songs that communicate an appealing degree of optimism. It’s classic power-pop, right down to the guitar tones and predictable, digestible hooks, and the familiarity of a song like “Lookin’” is completely comforting in its own way, nevermind the innate relatability of its lyrics.

‘Do you ever talk to yourself
as you walk across the street
just like I do?
Do you daydream about somewhere new?

When you close your eyes
do you see the movies of your mistakes?
Do you wish you could apologize to every face?’

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