Sometimes a word or phrase in song just sounds good but has no meaning. John Lennon occasionally worked in such a manner with The Beatles, and Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard pens couplets that sound great but are often inscrutable.
File the title of the Halfloves latest album, “Dazer” in the zone of cool name with little significance.
“When it comes to ‘Dazer,’ the name of the album, there’s no story,” singer-songwriter Jeff Roalson said by phone from his Iowa City home. “It’s the least-inspired part of the album, but we like the sound of the word.”
The rest of the album, which was released Aug. 30, has plenty of meaning and variety. It has a number of catchy midtempo tracks, bouncy up-tempo tunes and a couple of dreamy and whimsical songs.
“I think we have a good range of songs on this album,” Roalson said. “It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction is when we play these new songs.”
Roalson writes with his longtime sonic partner, keyboardist Trevor Polk.
“I have such a great connection with Trevor,” Roalson said. “We’ve been collaborating for more than 10 years. Trevor was in the prior band (The Olympics) and we just have this connection. It’s always been there.”
Halfloves will highlight the tracks Saturday (9/7) at CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids.
“This will be our big hometown album showcase event,” Roalson said. “It’s a huge deal for us. It’s always humbling and exciting to play the shows in your own neighborhood.”
Roalson, who grew up in Shueyville, never considered uprooting the band in the hopes of reaching another echelon.
“So many bands get caught up with what’s out there and they go to the coast, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Roalson said. “You can get swallowed up in New York or Los Angeles. You hear stories about it all of the time. I love it here. I love the simple things. I really like going to Prairie Lights and Billy’s High Hat Diner. My wife and I love going to Cobble Hill Restaurant for dinner. This is home to me. This is where I learned about the arts.”
The Coe College alum actually was a dancer before he was a musician.
“I studied ballet for about 13 years,” he said. “I started when I was about 4 years old. I loved it, but I found something else that is a better fit. I learned how to play guitar in high school and started my first band. It all worked out well. There is a connection between dancing and music.”
Roalson knows his way around a stage and impresses in the “It’s Easy to Love” video in which he dances
“I guess my background helped me with that video,” Roalson said. “The funny part about that was the girl who was acting in that video with me was also featured in the video for the primary song (“Not Too Keen”). We had spent 10 hours on that video earlier that day. After we were done, we were driving and we saw this great spot to shoot for ‘It’s Easy to Love.’ We had the gear and the crew and the crazy thing was that video was shot in one take. We had so much fun dancing and it just worked out.”
WHAT: Halfloves, with Nick Booth and Trees Reach opening
WHERE: CSPS, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday (9/7)
TICKETS: $10 advance, $13 door, CSPS Box Office, (319) 364-1580 or Legionarts.org
BAND’S WEBSITE: Halfloves.com