My backlog of things to review is just getting bigger and bigger! weePOP! was recently kind enough to send along their two newest releases and since they were both short & sweet, I thought I’d listen to them to (hopefully) ease back into reviewing things. I apologize for the lack of reviews lately — I work for a university and with students returning to class in just a week, my office is in the midst of our “busy” season. Hopefully things will calm down soon so that I can go back to doing nothing at my desk!
Anyway, Let’s Whisper is the side project of Colin and Dana, who are both members of Vermont pop group The Smittens. Keep A Secret, their new 3” CD-R (out now on weePOP!), is just as intimate as its name suggests. “California Girls” borrows a line from the Beach Boys and blends it with Field Mice-esque pop: distinct guitar lines, clear as a bell vocals, and synthetic sounding percussion. My favorite moment of “California Girls” comes in the last 35 seconds or so, a delirious chorus of “where, where, where you going?” that quickly fades out into nothing. Things change pace with the second song, “Snowy Sunday,” a plaintive bedroom pop ballad that sounds just as introspective and isolated as winter feels. “Meet Me On The Dancefloor” features male & female vocals accentuated by handclaps & “uh ohs.” It’s an upbeat number that comes close to being saccharine, but it’s so sincere that it’s hard to fault (especially the “Monday always comes too soon” line, which I’m really feeling right now.) The CD-R closes with “Holly in Wintertime,” which is pretty downbeat (at least, compared to the rest of the release.) I think the resemblance to the Field Mice is strongest on this last track (not that that’s a bad thing!) You can get Keep A Secret direct from weePOP! If you’re in the UK it’s four pounds (including shipping) and if you’re not, it’s five pounds with shipping (a little over $7.)
Stars of Aviation also have a new 3” CD-R out on weePOP! By the Shore begins with the title track “By the Shore,” a nicely arranged, straightforward pop number about summer holidays featuring piano & horns. “Deepest Dark Peru” is set to a beat that reminds me of one of those pre-recorded Casio “bossa nova” tracks. Sung in a combination of French and English, it has a nice laid back vibe & definitely sounds like something my mother would listen to while making breakfast, like Weekend’s La Variete or something. “Underneath the Elms” sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place on a Magnetic Fields record (well, the horns might give it away.) The closing track, “You Be The Boy, I’ll Be The Girl” is my favorite track by far. Something about the vocals and orchestration reminds me just a touch of Belle and Sebastian (but one of their great non-album tracks, like “I’m Waking Up To Us.”) There’s an amazing country-ish sounding guitar line buried just under the vocals in the chorus that I can’t get enough of — something about this song really works for me in a way that the others don’t. Like Keep A Secret, By the Shore is 4 pounds within the UK (including shipping) and 5 pounds (including shipping for international buyers.) You can get it direct from weePOP!