With Ben Kyle's rustic, impassioned vocals landing somewhere between Jeff Tweedy's wounded poetry and Ryan Adams's bad-boy cool, alt-country act Romantica alternately thrive on intimate, spare songs centered on Kyle's heartfelt singing and spritely, full-band arrangements colored by glistening steel-pedal guitar and occasional mariachi horns. For their new EP, the cleverly titled Control Alt Country Delete, the Minneapolis quartet puts the emphasis firmly on the freewheeling, full-band side, writing and recording all the songs in one day last spring while in Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest. Capturing Kyle and company at their loosest and most spontaneous, Control is Romantica's most playful, rollicking effort to date, creating a ramshackle beauty as they work out arrangements at the spur of the moment. As they prepare to release the follow-up to the nationally acclaimed America next March, Romantica promise a lively show that should render all comparisons to their elders beside the point. All ages.
Sun., Dec. 20, 7 p.m., 2009