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Richie Follin is the leader of the Brooklyn pop-rock band Guards. Listening to the group, it's hard not to mention the singer's older sister, Madeline Follin of Cults, as their shared upbringing and influences are obvious.
Beyond literal lineage, Cults and Guards share an aesthetic of buzzy and revitalized old-school pop. In perfect little-brother form, though, Guards is a bit edgier — a little grungier and more eclectic in a way that people with cool older siblings often are.
This month brings In Guards We Trust, Follin's first full album under the Guards moniker; it showcases a sound that's been fleshed out and cleaned up since the release of an EP in 2009. The first single, "Ready to Go," has a bright quality that was absent in 2009. "Coming True" recalls Richie Follin's minimalist, retro calling card, but with a maturity that comes from three-plus years between releases and significant time spent touring as a guitarist with Cults.
Here, Guards' members discuss their sound and play a few tracks from the album.
This World Cafe session was originally published on February 5, 2013.