REVIEW: Cape Chacon – “I Can’t Muster It”

Indie pop gets little attention and even less acclaim. I don’t understand why. It’s not challenging in any musical way, but it’s a treat to see how bands exist within the parameters. We live in a post-Twee As Fuck world. It’s been codified and troped to hell, but it still has a vibrancy that a lot of punk offshoots just don’t. There has been a kind of renaissance in recent years with bands like Kitty Kat Fan Club and the Jeanines getting a fair amount of attention. Cape Chacon should be right up there with them, and I Can’t Muster It is a perfect addition to the indie pop canon.

Things start strong with a one/two punch. “All My Best Friends” lays out the thesis of the record, and “Crushin” introduces the conflict. Is that too “literary analysis” for a pop record? I’m just going to quote their Bandcamp bio then. “Indie rock that’s kind of like when you forgot your pencil in sixth grade but ur bff had an extra.” It’s a record about interpersonal relationships, both in celebration and reflection. “Antiques Roadshow” is about thanking someone for being great during a rough time. “LIbertarian” is about the challenge of staying friends with someone who is kind of shitty. It’s not super high stakes, and it’s relatable entirely for that reason.

My favorite thing about this record is how the songs aren’t structured like normal pop songs. I mean, shit, you might not even get a proper chorus in some of them. But the songs are still hooky as fuck. They also play with your expectations. Like, I’m going to go back to “All My Best Friends.” The song builds exactly how you would expect in the first verse. In a genre standard, a fast guitar part would have kicked in immediately. We get two more verses instead. But, goddamn is it great when that guitar kicks in right at the end. It makes an expected bit sound fresh as hell. It made me smile, and I love when that happens on the first song.

Cape Chacon weren’t on my radar, but they absolutely should have been. There’s sweetness to these songs, and a lot of heart. It’s pure bubblegum, and it fucking rules.

Camp Chacon
Bandcamp

REVIEW: Illuminati Hotties – “Kiss Yr Frenemies”

Sarah Tudzin, as Illuminati Hotties, has made deceptively complex pop record. The sound is all over the place. There are some places where Kiss Yr Frenemies sounds like a more twee record in the Cub or Tullycraft style. It’s got a deep, ambient vibe that reminds of trip hop in a weird way in other places. The record has really sparse and tender moments that smash almost without warning into noisy punk parts. It doesn’t sound too jarring unless you’re really thinking about it. Like how the delicate, piano driven “Declutter” comes immediately after a indie/punk jam like “Pressed 2 Death.” Or how the vibey “Cuff,” which honestly made me look up Portishead to prove I wasn’t crazy with that earlier trip hop reference, comes right after “Shape Of My Hand.”

The overwhelming vibe of the record is mid-20’s ennui. Songs about love, relationships going sideways, needing more money, and just general dissatisfaction are all over this thing. If I’m being honest, the line “I’m Spending all my money at 7-11 and sleeping through the weekend” made me laugh in a very knowing way. Same with ā€œI could probably use a fourth job.ā€ The record kind of has a bitterness to it that offsets the more sweet sounding music in a really cool way. Like, happy sounding songs about how everything is just being kind of dumb sometimes. I feel like that is something anyone can relate to.

The elevator pitch for this record would be “wry observations of a young adult told over energetic indie pop.” It’s a great record for the summer, and I can’t imagine anyone not finding something to connect to. Also, the horn flourish on “For Cheez (My Friend, Not The Food)” is fantastic.

Illuminati Hotties
Tiny Engines
Bandcamp
Buy It

Song Of The Week (7/28/17) // Post Lovers – “Going Anyway”

Post Lovers – “Going Anyway”

From the inbox:

Athens based Post Lovers is a solo project created by Eleni Karageorgou. Post Lovers play short, indie folk tunes, blending a-bit-too personal songwriting with playful backing vocals, all set in a 90’s background. Their beneficiary musicians kindly contribute to both their rehearsals and live gigs. Post Lovers take a step at a time: girls, friends, lovers, post lovers.

Their first official release is the single “Melbourne/Going Anyway” coming out on August 1st through the 7-inch series “A Distant Victory Singles Club” via Inner Ear Records.

These indie pop songs always sound good in the summer. Is twee seasonal? Anyway, “Going Away” is the b-side on Post Lovers’ upcoming single. Both it and “Melbourne” are great songs. The 7″ will be out on August 1. It’s part of Inner Ears’ subscription series. You can check that out here.

Post Lovers
Inner Ear Records