The Life You Always Wanted, the sparkling full-length debut from San Francisco quintet The Bittersweets is music of an uncommon, almost upbeat melancholy. Amidst the ringing guitars and Hannah Prater's hauntingly sincere vocals roams sadness tinged with hope, a depth of feeling and appreciation of repentance that speaks well for the band's continued growth. Currently touring as an acoustic duo, Prater and guitarist/vocalist Chris Meyers blend the world-weary savvy of Natalie Merchant with the optimistic jangle of classic Byrds. Fans of Cowboy Junkies and Blue Rodeo will find much to like in the Bittersweets' intelligent mix of pop and pedal steel, and locals would be wise to catch the local combo on support: the longtime songwriting prowess of Doug Burr and the up-and-coming concert wonder that is Rose County Fair.
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