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Alive with lyrical depth, melodic intricacy and lush production, Horsebeach’s II is the work of confident and mature multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ryan Kennedy and crew. Opening with the subtle rumble of early-morning Chinatown, a hazy instrumental sharpens into focus with languid guitars, gently welcoming one into a dream of Kennedy’s creation. The summery groove and pop majesty of “It’s Alright” soon eases spinning into infinity, soothed by the warm, chiming guitars, while Beth de Cent’s smokey vocals come together in perfect harmony with Kennedy’s. “Andy” offers a yearning tale of forbidden love, packed with homoerotic overtones so full-blooded they’d make Morrissey blush like a young Caligula, while the marbled melodies of “Broken Light” come on in nostalgic ripples and waves of sepia-tinged beauty. Opening the B-side with masterful subtlety, synth-led instrumental “Midnight Part 2” takes a moonlit stroll by the ocean before “Dana” ushers in the dawn with the greatest X-Files inspired song ever written (sorry, Cerys). The antithesis of over-serious hipster cool, the earnestly emotional lyrics and anthemic chords should be enough to prompt John Hughes to rise again and make a much-needed sequel to The Breakfast Club. “Disappear” finds Kennedy and drummer Matt Booth drinking in the cosmic vintage of Düsseldorf ’72, as their chiming West Coast guitars are joined by celestial keys, head-nodding bass grooves and a motorik rhythm. “Avoid the Light” closes the album with a plea to stay in the dreamworld just a little longer.