Smith Westerns have come far since they shambled into the fray back in 2009. The Chicagoans were originally possessed by genres and artists of the 60s and 70s, dissembling their idols and repackaging them into something for the modern era. A few years later we saw them strolling across the pond to where Oasis and Suede hark from for round two. They're a band who've grown from scrappy teenage garage-rockers indebted to Bowie, Beatles and Bolan on their eponymous debut, through to polished lo-fi Britpoppers on Dye It Blonde. Now, with their third full-length, Soft Will, on its way to our ears, we can see how they've developed further.

'3AM Spiritual' jangles and shimmies with all manner of effects. Maudlin acoustic guitar flickers amongst sharp prongs of synth, tom-focused drums and airy bass - there's a twang of nostalgia, but for every nod to the past, there's two things keeping you in the present. This is a massive summer-poised singalong number, ideal for rousing a crowd in the waning sunlight at festivals. 'Idol' is similarly huge. The spacey melodic hooks seem to be something of a staple for the band now, shaving their former sound of all fuzz and leaving it naked and glistening. Just as 'Glossed' appears to be gunning for the 60s, Smith Westerns coyly tug it towards dream-pop with psych-laced slide guitars and blissful arpeggios. It's a glorious fist-pumping slice of happy/sad anthem-ry.

They've not entirely eliminated their roots or inspirations from Soft Will, but nowadays they lean less heavily on the sounds of yesteryear, instead generally opting for more contemporary noises that sound more personal, more unique and altogether more comfortable for the band. So far, the change in their sound has come largely from the increase in their budget - the scuzz is wheedled out when there's more dinero lining their wallets. Now that they're fast becoming big goddamn deals, Smith Westerns have a sound that sparkles so cleanly you can see your face in it. It's not that Smith Westerns have gone all plastic on us, but more like they can fully realise their original plans now they have the means to do so.

The drug-waltz of 'Only Natural', a galloping 12/8 number, rifles through spiralling dark tendencies and glamorous indie-pop. It's home to perhaps the biggest chorus Smith Westerns have ever written; despite the perilous angst Cullen Omori wields ("All the time/ I hope some way/ That I'm not losing this game…"), the cut remains valorously upbeat. Lead single 'Varsity' is an icy barrage of whirring 80s synths and mid-90s guitar-pop (of the British variety); it does err slightly towards the pastiche-y, but the references are more subtle - in the grander schemes of the track, they may as well be virgin noises.

Smith Westerns haven't just matured in terms of style and production. They've grown as people over the past four years, exiting adolescence and entering the wider world of adulthood, soaking in all the seriousness, all the reality and all the 'sod this, I'm an adult now and I'll do what the hell I want(edness?)' of it all. They're not entirely all grownup, but they're on the right path. They're full of uncluttered and focused optimism, and that shows in their freshly exfoliated music - there are pop hooks galore, twinkling astral riffs and effervescent beats. Soft Will ticks all the boxes of being, without actually calling itself such, a 'coming-of-age' record that squints in the direction of their bright future.