The two-decade evolution of Guster has seen them go from Tufts undergrads playing robust folk on acoustic guitars and bongos to the polished, pure-pop prestidigitation of the quartet's new Easy Wonderful. The group's unabashed populism permeates every pore of EW: gushing lush harmonies, gaudy hooks infused with sonic sunshine, plus sweeping, multi-tiered production. Overflowing with infectiousness, Guster's sound borrows elements from '50s and '60s folk and pop, including a massive dose from the Beach Boys, especially in the vocals and spacious production. Guster's most distinctive trait, however, is the ambiguous quality of their songs, which are often laced with dark suggestions of grim forces at work, belying the radiant music. All ages.
Fri., Jan. 28, 8 p.m., 2011