Oso Oso Credit: Javi Perez

Oso Oso front man Jade Lilitri makes sweetly catchy, straightforward rock songs like he was born to do it. Though he’s a veteran of the east-coast independent emo scene, he couldn’t find a label for Oso Oso’s second album, 2017’s The Yunahon Mixtape, so he put it out himself as a pay-what-you-want release on Bandcamp. The album gained a cult following, and pop-punk-focused indie label Triple Crown reissued it the following year. Despite that late success, he seems to understand that the odds are stacked against him because he’s working within a critically maligned subgenre. That reality gives Oso Oso’s new third album, Basking in the Glow (Triple Crown), an internal tension, and Lilitri’s motivation comes through clearly. These euphoric songs get extra punch from a quixotic sense that they’re hoping against hope, which is especially welcome when simply glancing at the day’s news can send you spiraling into despair. Basking in the Glow acts as a balm and an energy drink, and its irrepressible melodies tell us that chasing an impossible dream can be a joy unto itself.   v