Throughout this record, sing-along melodies and shadowy guitar effects give a feeling of some sixties spy thriller, it’s all a bit Maigrait, a bit Tony Bennett, a bit (don’t laugh) St Etienne taking on Johnny Cash.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable record, mixing the odd mordant reflections with lush poppy soundscapes. If there’s one criticism to give, I’d say a number of the tracks, especially No Trace of Me and In The Fire are that bit too short as they have the potential to work out into something quite spectacular. Or maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know I’m only the reviewer you ken? It’s just at times this LP feels a bit hesitant and unfinished when it should be knocking the listener over with its panache and wit. Still they leave you wanting more so a victory of sorts for the band, there.
Proofs of the music’s inherent attractiveness are A Soapbox Serenade and Heavenly Bodies. These two are belting pop songs - balancing a feeling of chanteuse with a “naïve” melodies and lots of space. You know, it’s not quite right, that word naïve, but the music seems to have a “butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth” feel to it. Wide eyed? Not right either… maybe gauche. The sound gives a feeling of one of the female new wave bands or artists; the floating, sax-laden spaces on tracks like Sleep to Dream are something Ludus, Maximum Joy or Nicolle Meyer would have conjured up too. It’s a bit Lee & Nancy but more gothic and less camp, which is a good thing.
Throughout this record, sing-along melodies and shadowy guitar effects give a feeling of some sixties spy thriller, it’s all a bit Maigrait, a bit Tony Bennett, a bit (don’t laugh) St Etienne taking on Johnny Cash. Maybe there’s some ironic understatement that infuses this record. We Little Women – one of the highlights - certainly gives the feeling that the band is having a pop.
Still for under the radar pop it’s grand. I’m inclined to tell you to go and listen to this.