Andrew Doig makes his full length album debut as Robert Sotelo. Cusp showcase twelve tracks of delightful and sincere psyche-pop. It verges on lo-fi, but it’s more just charming. Drawing influence from the likes of Paul McCartney, it’s a slice of post 30 life. Limited LP on Upset The Rhythm.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 31 August 2017
Paul Bloody McCartney. Though it's hard to criticise a man who was in the Beatles, after spending a few weeks pouring through his solo back catalogue I have never been left so frustrated by a human. Slithers of utter brilliance rub up against moments of self indulgence and total idiocy. Robert Sotelo - Peterborough's answer to McCartney - certainly has a lot of similar attributes. His is a world where creating melody is of immediate importance. His songs are full of whimsy, twisting melodies and moments where you hope he'd, you know, just get to the point a bit quicker.
Sotelo has the sort of lo-fi style that you will also find in the musics of Cate Le Bon and H.Hawkline and 'Cusp' is one of those records where the narrow sound world suggests an album made at home constricted by rudimentary equipment - everything clatters, guitars are from Woolworths and keyboards have been saved up from the Argos catalogue - none of this particularly hinders the music here. There are pop hooks strong enough to cut through the lo-fi but I'm frustrated by Sotelo in the same way I am by McCartney or in that the songs never quite flow - they often start promisingly only to head into the sort of dead ends that are probably there to paper over the crack that is Sotelo's inability to pen a catchy chorus.
I'm probably being slightly harsh. Having read reviews that compared this to XTC I had enormous high hopes. Sotelo is on the right path, he produces warped, whimsical lo-fi pop that if you weren't comparing to McCartney you could compare pretty favourably to Ray Davies's and his Kinks in his 'Village Green' period.
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- Cusp by Robert Sotelo
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