Label: Elefant Records
Release date: 2015-04-13
Welsh wunderkinds The School are back in session with another poppy fizzfest to make your shoes and your spirits rise (to quote the inimitable Robert Smith). One of the biggest pop ensembles we’ve encountered (quick, name another pop octet), it seems like half of Cardiff have scrunched into the studio to unravel their keyboards, strings, horns, guitars, and other noisemakers and deliver four more sublime tracks of airy ephemera on the back of Liz Hunt’s sprightly vocals and perky pop keyboards.
Going straight for the jugular, the title track (on the soon to come third album) is everything we loved about Phil Spector and his assorted collection of Teddy Bears, Crystals, Ronettes, Paris Sisters, et mucho al. And I just adore those little tinkling bells in the background.
‘Baby Don’t Hold Your Breath’ is a little show tuney for my palette, but Hunt can whisper in my ear like this all day and I’ll follow her anywhere. More satiny Spectorish goodness, but it feels like something from Bye Bye Birdie and possibly better suited to Sarah Cracknell and Saint Etienne.
Flip this puppy over and ‘I Will See You Soon’ delivers another crunchy bopper with hand-clappy beats, big phat guitar sounds, and Farfisa delights. The party’s over when Carole King’s ‘Crying In The Rain’ funeral marches its way into the room, complete with Shangri-Las-y spoken word eulogy that may be even more dirgy than King ever anticipated. Sure captures the pain of loss much deeper than the Everly Brothers’ original – this one tears a page out of the Julee Cruise torch singer songbook. David Lynch, are you listening?