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The Would-Be-Goods - The Morning After (Fortuna Pop!)

As should be expected of one time él records artistes, The Would-Be-Goods excel at tucked in, smart pop full of ringing guitars and beautifully honed lyrics. Tracks one and two ‘Pantomime Devil’ and ‘The Morning After’ chirp along charmingly with neatly twanging guitars and la la las. So far so Heavenly, you might think, and indeed one-time Amelia sidekick Peter Montchiloff is involved here on guitar and as author of a trio of songs mid-album. However, main songwriter and singer Jessica Griffin brings her curiously dispassionate cast to proceedings and everything goes all enigmatic. She sings with an intriguing glassy aloofness, coolly enunciating her thoughts. You can imagine a Jane Austen heroine singing like this, holding in the passion to present a composed exterior to the world.

The songs are small, perfectly formed vignettes, tripping easily from style to style like they’re so many stepping stones. There’s swinging beat-pop on ‘Miss La-di-dah‘, the wistful folky lilt of ‘Bluebeard’, delicious minor chord melancholy on the disarming ‘Dear St Valentine’ and ‘Le Crocodile’ fuzzes serenely like Francoise Hardy meets The Seeds. ‘Big Cat Act’ is apparently a love song to a lion, ‘They can’t hear my rage and they can’t feel my pain’ croons Jessica in a singularly un-enraged, numbed tone. The sparse, delicate ‘Too Old’ is simultaneously touching and amusing, ‘Oh I’ll stop playing the ingenue/ If you’ll quit being Peter Pan/ You know we’re much too old/ Too old for rock ‘n’ roll/ too old for long straight hair/ too old to walk around in sexy underwear.‘ This is the sound of ‘indiepop’ pulling on a chic outfit and growing up. The key word is elegance. Keeping your dignity whilst all around you are losing the plot is sometimes the only stylish option.

RRRG: Unremitting overcast connoisseur

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