Tiny Lights of Heaven
Morella's Forest is the kind of female-fronted band that has the potential to break into the mainstream with one catchy polished hit, then fade back into underground status, not unlike Save Ferris or Letters to Cleo. On its fourth record, the band moves from Tooth & Nail and chooses to forego the previous production services of Keith Cleversey (Hum, Spiritualized, Flaming Lips), resulting in a record that is still quite indie, but not too far from sounding like, say, Avril Lavigne. For now, thanks to vocalist Sydney Rentz, they're reminiscent of Velocity Girl or the Blake Babies (although a bit tamer). They're not quite as syrupy on Tiny Lights of Heaven (1996's Ultraphonic Hiss had titles such as "Butter Scotch Boy"), but it's still a charming confection of breezy and innocent melodies that are rooted in indie pop and barely infer the previous noise and new wave-influenced rock of previous efforts.