SILVERTWIN RECORDS 16th July 2021
A love-letter to seventies pop, this recalls George Martin’s piano, ELO’s vocals and chorus harmonies, Todd Rundgren’s melodic grasp and the smooth pop of Yacht Rock. Largely the work of Isaac Shalam, who set the tracks to tape then added overdubs from the rest of the band, the result is an aural bath in big melody and sweet sounds.
It’s hard to know where to start with this: I was going to say start with the strongest track, the opener, ‘Ploy’. But then each track reminded me of its merit and songs – like the ballad of ‘Promises’, with chiming instrumentation and the sensation of watching Gilbert O’Sullivan sat at a piano on a vintage Top Of The Pops – won their place as best. But soon enough, ‘Saviour’, with its rolling arrangement and hints of Supertramp, drives the tune home and grabs pole position. Then ‘The Night Is Ours’ is a disco thumper and recalled parties with a mobile DJ, twin decks, a couple of speakers and boxes of flashing lights. ‘I Don’t Want To Fight Anymore’ is a warm blanket of a piano ballad, recalling 10cc and Liner. ‘Take Me On’ entered the ring and won first place, thanks to the nicely pounding drive and high vocals before being displaced by the falsetto and strings of ‘Driving Me Wild’.
The big reference is ELO. Widely critiqued for ripping of Beatles tunes and being manufactured, the ear now hears them as the pure pop that they always were, but without the invention of punk distracting like a shouty toddler.
In all, it’s an album where each track seems like your favourite and you wallow in the cheesy but comfy sound of the seventies. Sometimes efforts like this have too crafted a feel and a barrier of artifice between the song and listener but this feels authentically birthed by someone who just loves creating music in a warm seventies style.