Yo La Tengo with way less guitar, without a male singe, the female singer now has an accent and there’s programming. I mean, basically, right? (That’s unfair, but it’s there.)
That’s being a little unfair, but the vibe is strong. Their sound is considerably more percussive or electronic at times. And I want to say their sound is more diverse than Yo La Tengo’s but it depends upon the album, as some YLT albums are much more diverse than this. (A lot has been written about how this band is influenced by ’60s psychedelic pop but I really hear ’90s American indie pop/rock more than the pop of the ’60s, personally. Of course, American indie music is heavily influenced by the pop of the ’60s. And I know American indie pop better than I know deep cut ’60s psychedelic pop.)
The songs are catchy. I tend to like the ones with (more pronounced) drums, those songs are both more immediate for me and also more distinct from the indie pop influences I hear all over the record.
There is some diversity in the arrangements and it’s a very full record for an album made by a duo. It’s not like there’s nothing going on here. There’s plenty going on in most tracks. The songs are often elaborately constructed productions, especially for a duo.
Everything about it is pretty good. But as with a lot of hyped indie pop, I’m left wondering why I should care and why the critics care so much. Like many other bands from the ’90s and ’00s, I find it very easy to play spot the influences when listening to this record, whether it’s YLT or whether it’s something more retro. (Someone mentioned Cilla Black, who I barely know.) And I’m just not moved by it. It’s not my kind of thing.
It’s fine. But it’s hard to understand the acclaim.