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STANDOUT TRACK: No. 11, “With the Wolves,” the lone song with depth on the frothy second full-length album by the D.C.- and Philadelphia-based quintet. The indie-pop song starts with guitar and vocals by Kevin Alvir, 25, and builds layers of keyboard, trumpet, drums, and violin. Though the lyrics are a little cryptic, Alvir says they are about growing up: “Things are fine/Things are good/Now that I’ve left and gone with the wolves.”
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: “The album is sweet, fluffy pop,” says violinist and Adams Morgan resident Sadie Dingfelder, 26. But “this song has a churning, angsty quality to it.” Credit that to Alvir, who moved to Philadelphia in August to pursue a master’s degree in art education. Leaving his Fairfax-based family stirred up the emotions that drive the track. “I felt like I was at this crossroads where I couldn’t be as immature as before,” he says.
WOLVES AT BAY: Alvir says that the Lil’ Hospital crowd usually consists of youngsters who act “respectful….There’s usually some head-bobbing.” On the band’s recent tour, the group never played “With the Wolves” live. “We didn’t know how it fit into the set energywise,” Dingfelder says. “There aren’t any other songs like it. It’s kind of an orphan.”
Dingfelder notes that the track does acknowledge the upside to innocence lost—which is to say that it might be a bit racy for a typical show. “It’s a good song to make out to,” she says. “It builds gradually and steadily in intensity.” —Rachel Beckman