Freshly back from Indietracks, totally blown away by the experience after finally attending the greatest gathering of Indie pop in England each year. Some lovely new discoveries..Tigercats were especially wonderful and some welcome old faces, Darren Hayman, Allo' Darlin and the really quite wondeful The Smittens a band that had impressed me with their great album The Coolest Thing about Love, an album that I had played on repeat for the days preceding the festival, re-familiarising myself with those great melodies, "The Interstate", "Gumdrops", "H&M (+A)" and many more. And so it was slightly disappointing that they focused more on new songs instead of the familiar tunes we love and cherish.
Having now had chance to digest their brand new album, I can't wait to see them again, (how did i not know they played Nottingham on Tuesday!!) each song a bundle of fun, catchy as can be and laden with hook after hook.
The lead single "Burning Streets of Rome" is not typically Smittens-esque, the intro is wonderfully 80's, soft synths and short couplets, a bassline that recalls a hundred songs , none of which I can put my finger on but maybe it's College's A Real Hero from the incredible Drive, but Burning Streets of Rome carries none of the droney darkness of that film, instead it carries one of the most catchy choruses you'll hear in years and will be singing all summer long.."Bubblegum Bubblegum panic attack/ It's a cute boy who likes me back".
Where the Smittens really excel is when they alternate lines between the hugely talented roster of members within the band (including Colin Clary of Let's Whisper and Colin Clary, surely the greatest voice ever, you need to chat to this guy!), each taking a line one after the other, like on the delectable Pavement meets Yo Gabba Gabba of The First Bus "I DISAGREE WITH YR THEORY / ARE YOU KIDDING, REALLY? / EVERYONE I KNOW AGREES " and then later on with the weight watching paranoia of Dream World, a march of a song that should soundtrack Slimming World drop outs across the world..."All the weight I just put on is never gonna come off/ never gonna come off"
I've been craving a new indie pop love after too many years all wrapped up in (still quite wonderful drone) and I think this album might be the one that gets played as frequently and as loudly as Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna. Simply Brilliant.