Rose Melberg s musical journey began in 1992 with the formation of Tiger Trap in her native Sacramento. Trading in immaculate crash-pop that was as influenced by English C86 indie-pop as it was by the US underground, Tiger Trap released a string of great records on the estimable K Records that became foundation documents of US indie-pop. Tiger Trap is an oft-cited influence on young indie bands, and Melberg s writing, singing and playing contributions to the band have cemented her status as one of the leading lights of the post-riot-grrl indie scene. After the dissolution of Tiger Trap, Melberg formed The Softies with her pal Jen Sbragia. In stark contrast to the fuzz n frenzy of Tiger Trap s punkpop attack, The Softies were a far quieter affair just two ladies with angelic voices, softly strummed guitars and earnest, affecting tunes. Across two albums, an EP and a handful of singles on Slumberland and K, The Softies built a unique, enduring body of work. In between, Melberg also played in Go Sailor with Henry s Dress / The Aislers Set s Amy Linton, releasing singles on Slumberland, Yo Yo and Lookout. Always writing and itching to play her songs for people, Melberg has also released two albums with the band Gaze and three superb solo albums. Melberg s latest project is the Vancouver-based Brave Irene. Formed in December 2009 around the core of Melberg and Caitlin Gilroy, Brave Irene is comprised of five best mates whose friendship and camaraderie shines through the warmth of these lovely recordings. Gilroy s and Jessica Wilkin s keyboards play a prominent role in Brave Irene s songs, adding a slightly psychedelic vibe that slots in well with early Flying Nun releases and even some of the Los Angeles Paisley Underground scene. Opener No Fun is a fuzzy gem that recalls New Zealand legends Look Blue Go Purple in its organ-driven folk / pop groove. The rhythms are really key here, with Laura Hatfield s muscular drumming giving the songs a real oomph and momentum that perfectly complements their catchy-asheck tunes. Tangled Line is an uptempo rocker that sports a unforgettable melody and droning organ lines. Longest Day continues where No Fun leaves off, the harmony vocals pushing the song forward. The EP wraps up with Good Ideas and Campfire, two more uptempo tunes full of great melodies, jangling guitars and those bubbling organs.
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