'There's a Son'
Well, this is a gem. ‘There’s A Son’ might tell of someone “tongue-tied and compromised” who fails to ever fully connect, but the song hits the emotive bullseye, with a lilting and cultured melancholy like the R.E.M. of ‘Sweetness Follows’; imagine the weepy emoji carved meticulously onto age-varnished mahogany and you might catch the elegantly mistyeyed impression. Barney Morse-Brown from Duotone adds cello, which is as near as one can get to a Kitemark for sophisticated music in Oxford. The closely twined lead vocals hang suspended in an amniotic pool of soft synth and stately guitar, but ‘On a Distant Shore’ gives their lush sound a clearer setting, atop an unhurried urbane countrified riff that’s a tasty double portion of classic Fleetwood Mac (hold the cocaine). ‘Corpse in the Copse’ might look like Elf on the Shelf for baby goths, but it has a breezy folk darkness as if someone described Nick Cave’s ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’ to All About Eve then pressed record. The tinkling piano might edge a step too far towards the paddock of prettiness on this one, but this debut EP is hugely promising overall.