Having spent the last week in the deepest, darkest countryside of the Welsh borders, I’ve lost track of the sense of bustle that accompanies the city. It also explains the short and late nature of recent posts – those internets are hard to come by in these parts.
Maybe this palpable disconnect has been good for my ears. I haven’t heard any Chill Wave/Witch House/whatever for a while now, and I can only imagine the cleansing effect it’s had on my mind and soul.
It might also explain the presence of, or at least provide empathy with, Chalk and Numbers, whose laser-bright haute-pop seems to have been teleported from another, vaguely-defined era.
But which era? Sure, there’s the inevitable 60’s Motown pop feel, but the last twenty years of Indie irreverence lingers throughout. Frankly, this winning other-timely feel is only part of their considerable charm.
He Knew is a rollicking, determinedly swinging and chipper song that sports the ultra-glossy sheen that I thought had been sent down with Phil Spector. For a band to reach out and grab onto this particular branch of the pop tree is unusual and bold.
Such derring-do is rewarded – He Knew is as sharply-honed a pop song as you’ll have heard for a while, bristling with drive and looking for a home. You’ll be compelled to welcome it with open arms.