By Various Artists
The latest release from Wakefield-based independent label Philophobia, 'The Heartfelt EP' comes in a nifty, heart-shaped felt sleeve and features four tracks from Wakefield-based bands Imp and Jeremiah.
Imp's contributions are 'Party' and 'Great Jaguars Triumph.' Both are quirky indie-rock, with grafted-on synths that tootle away in the background, and take the edge off that gritty, indie-rock production.
But, unnecessary synths aside, 'Party' is the strongest of the two offerings, boasting swaggering guitars that are melodic in shape, but have a sharp, quirky edge that plays into the song's 'kooky indie' vibe. The choruses are even more distinctive, with juddery drum-rolls that trail off amongst cries of "there's a party!" The post-chorus lag of looped riffs and half-heated "whoooooo" backing vocals does drag, and the synths are superfluous, but 'Party' otherwise has an appealing sway and a clunky, charmingly rough-around-the-edges feel.
'Great Jaguars Triumph' has a puttering backing beat that gives the song a snappy, no-nonsense energy, but what it's ultimately lacking is a strong vocal hook to take its hand-clap-friendly indie-rock to the next level.
Also from Wakefield, Jeremiah contribute the bright and breezy acoustic-pop of 'I'd Rather Be Here' and the hypnotic, lullaby-like chant of 'I Was Your Knot.' The former is a completely insubstantial bit of summery pop, but its springy-acoustic-strumming and bubblegum-pop-vocals combo is actually pretty fun. The verses are hampered by an irritatingly chirpy "bah-bah-bah-bah!" vocal that'll set your teeth on edge, but when Abigail and Robert sing duet, they lose that squeaky-happy edge, and 'I'd Rather Be Here' becomes a day-brightening bit of frivolous fun.
Their second offering is stronger. 'I Was Your Knot' is hypnotically repetitive alt-pop, with tinny drum-rolls that bring an edge to the hazy, languid vocals, and choruses that have a simple, sing-song quality. Like 'I'd Rather Be Here,' 'I Was Your Knot' treads the fine line between 'charming' and 'irritatingly twee.' But, Jeremiah step up their game with an end-section of gorgeous, heady alt-pop fuzz where the choruses' central lament is chanted over and over, to mesmerising and heartfelt effect.
Jeremiah's contributions are basic pop numbers that'll irritate as many people as they charm. A little lacking in hooks, they're a pleasant enough listen, although the closing minute of 'I Was Your Knot' suggests Jeremiah have much more to give. Imp's songs are equally low-key, with an under produced feel that suits their brand of clunky indie-rock. 'The Heartfelt EP' is another neat snapshot of local talent from Philophobia.
2 bands associated with this article.
riffatronic polymaths transplanting mothra-sized sonicbooms to the denizens of wakefield and beyond. habitual popsters practicing a riff heavy-pop chime with hi-deluxe vocal melodies attempting to blend melodious guitar based americana slacker with keyboard driven chord progressions //impfinite joy\\