Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Very Most - Just A Pup

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


After spending the past few weeks remarking on just how summery everything is sounding right now (which must be down to the unusually good weather), it's interesting to note that the title-track from The Very Most's new EP 'Just A Pup' has a certain cosy, wintry feeling to it. Maybe it's the opening line that includes the words "cold snap" or maybe it's the sleigh bell-like percussion that crops up from time to time, but it's as snug and warm as a bowl of hearty soup. We know the Idaho band are no novices when it comes to melodic indiepop, and they sound effortless here. Influences are worn clearly on sleeves, as 'Idaho, America In 2049' uses Beach Boys percussion and harmonies to create a complex arrangement and structure, with an airy, dreamlike quality. Recalling the multi-part 'Smile' album, this song also comes in separate yet adjoined sections that traverse the ages, from Brian Wilson's symphonies through '80s indie and beyond.

It's almost a surprise that The Very Most then launch into a northern soul/indiepop hybrid track in 'We Don't Have Any Cuts To Waste'. Naturally in combining the two, inevitable Belle & Sebastian comparisons will be drawn, but this can only be a compliment, and the sweeping strings mean the song passes by with a definite majesty. The splendid arrangements almost hide political aspect of the song. Finishing with a cover of the Tom Jones hit 'It's Not Unusual' may appear ironic on paper, but it works a treat here. Vocals are provided by Liz Hunt, therefore meaning the song bears a closer resemblance to Belly's cover of the same track a couple of decades ago, but with these lush arrangements the overall sound is nearer to Camera Obscura, themselves not averse to throwing in the odd cover now and then. In the words of the late great John Le Measurier, it's all been rather lovely.



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