Unlike most couples that break up after a lengthy relationship, John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard, otherwise known as the Submarines, found that their separation was a failure both personally and professionally. So after some time apart the pair got hitched and the latest member of the family is Declare a New State.

The title sounds militant but in fact it reflects a hopefulness, a quality that informs the overall sadness of the majority of this effort. The pair takes turns with the vocals with Hazard’s work being the most striking. Her voice is not particularly unique but her delicate phrasing on this set of folk-pop perfectly conveys the fragility of trying to hold a long-term relationship together.

“Brighter Discontent” is an album stand-out and should be pleasing to fans of Sheryl Crow while “Modern Inventions” has a lush bed of (happy!) harmony vocals for its hook.

Grade: B