With a frigid Midwestern winter fast approaching, the temperatures are dropping, the wind is picking up, and the sun is going into hiding. Needless to say, I need all the happy music I can get. Luckily, the new album from long-running pop outfit Bingo Trappers, Elizabethan, is exactly that. The Amsterdam band, despite being active since 1995 and having a style that’s undeniably indebted to 60’s sunshine pop, sounds as fresh as ever. The songs are deceptively simple, with complexities that only make themselves apparent after repeated listens. One of my favorite things about this record is how the drums fit in with everything else; the bass and guitars are thuddy enough that they’re percussive in their own right, and it took me a while to notice that “Signs of Comfort” doesn’t even have any drums until midway through. The frequent slide guitar adds a sense of motion and direction as well, though it’s more fluid than rhythmic, winding in and out of the other instruments with evolving melodies and smile-inducing solos. Waldemar Noë’s lyrics are unsurprisingly fantastic, drawing equally from the frank storytelling of country music and more abstract sources (according to the band’s website, the song “Don’t Steal My Line” is largely based on the 1966 film version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf). Coupled with the cheerful, whimsical arrangements, I can’t help but be reminded of The Deep Freeze Mice and their masterpiece Hang on Constance, Let Me Hear the News, which, I think, is one of the best compliments I’m able to bestow.