The new Young Rapids reemerged this year from their hiatus with purpose, though the expressive core of the DC dream pop group remains as strong as ever. As with their earliest recordings, today’s Young Rapids carefully and artfully synthesize their interests in storytelling and experimentalism into a vast yet direct sound that’s at times reminiscent of Radiohead, TV on the Radio and The Walkmen, while remaining uniquely original. Pretty Ugly is fully formed, each twist and turn reinforcing the album’s character, all leading to the catharsis of closer “Ugly”. “Now I understand,” croons Dan Gleason at the record’s end. And somehow, we do too.