I was a fan of British quintet the Death of Pop the moment I heard “Sun in my Eyes” which is still one of my favourite songs of theirs. What I particularly like about them, is that, just when you think you sussed it, they do something surprising. They slide down some unexpected curve of chord progressions or change direction in cadence… and I am a sucker for that sort of thing. So now that they have released their brand new EP “Bubble Bath” on the Fandango label ( 10th of July 2015), I wanted to be able to say something about it:
The new sound is supposed to follow in the footsteps and mood of the single “Circles”, from last year’s well received “Fifths” EP, and definitely carries that same sound, influenced by late 60’s pscych-pop a la early Pink Floyd.
The Death of Pop are a well-connected bunch: the fact that they are genetically related – 3 brothers and 2 cousins – is reflected in their musical interplay. “Bubble Bath” is , like all former releases, a Bournemouth bedroom project ( recorded, produced and mastered), which intensifies the intimacy of the whole end-product. The jangle-gaze compositions are often complex but tightly knit and entrain the listener on a prismatic trip. As is the case with “Bubble Bath” a name quite apt for music that feels like submerging in warm liquid.
The EP kicks off with “Still Stupid” which instantly drags you into a 60’s psych fusion of a jangly beat, Ride-esque vocals, a mellotron and a pinch of Jacco Gardner.
“Ray Ban Party” is a very brief intermission ( only 1:48 ) of uptempo, C86 guitar (late 80’s, jangly guitars and melodic power) pop. The song apparently is about someone who has lost his sunglasses and some “darker” innuendo that the band did not elaborate upon.
“ Leave me Behind” finally throws you into that hallucinogenic landscape that they currently seem to want to explore which suits their trademark warm, eerie chords perfectly: diving deeper and deeper into those sun glistening waters. The vocals here are completely drowned and overwhelmed by spectral keys, crisp chimes and strident strings: as if they were the voices of a sunken forgotten kingdom. The whole atmosphere reminds me of that of “ Rendez-Vous 6:02” (UK) or “ the Ascent” from Picnic at Hanging Rock, with traces of certain Air soundtracks.
The single “Headaches” continues on this same psychedelic path and reminds us of Ride in their prime. Starting slowly but steadily to release into a drone of guitar fuzz and progressive solo’s . The Mellotron shimmers to and fro like the waves, the voices reverberate and wail ( You give me headaches!) then swell into washes of tremolo guitars until the tide withdraws again….and the headache settles down.
Mmmm, I have a headache myself, but I assure you : nothing to do with the Death of Pop J . Right : Bubble Bath or Alka Selzer?
By Estella Rosa