A great deal of indie and lo-fi music aspires not to mimic the sounds of the 1960s so much as to reconstruct a perception of those sounds. The songs themselves are typically composed of multi-part vocal harmonies, bubbly melodies and generous use of organ or tambourine. Brave Irene’s first EP is a strong example of this phenomenon, a collection of retro-leaning tracks that don’t so much sound like ’60s leftovers as pastiche.
The voices on Brave Irene’s debut short-player are both pretty and deadpan, creating a melancholy lilting quality. And they hover over skate-rink organ, drums that crack and pop, and a guitar that has two modes: chug and chug faster. This recipe works for the group on the best of their songs “No Fun” and “Bank Holiday,” but the tunes begin to blur together over the rest of the EP.
The songs themselves aren’t bad, but are often indistinguishable from each other. For a worse band with much less to offer, this would be torturous, but fortunately for the listeners, Brave Irene provides enough speed and pop to keep things from getting irritating. I look forward to see what they bring to the mix on their first LP, because the band certainly has the talent to create something interesting, if not exactly novel or groundbreaking.
The Bangles – All Over The Place
Blondie – Eat To The Beat
The Pipettes – Meet The Pipettes