I knew it! The Smittens are a twee indie pop band out of Vermont with a nice line in jangly indie charm but you know what they are obsessed with don't you? What in fact all twee indie pop bands are obsessed with. Dirty grinding filthy sex. They talk about nothing else in the press release. It's all sex, sex sex with these people.
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Who else found the great Indie Tracks floods of 2018 pretty funny? Hairclips lost in puddles, anoraks gone completely inside out, sodden bowlcuts. Though really, from the pictures I saw everyone was well over the age of 55.
Though it's right at the top of it's game at the moment in terms of popularity, indie-pop always has the power to amuse. The Smittens have the name, the haircuts, the weird obsession with sex to fit right in. But I'm really shocked by opener Three States which begins as you would expect with something twee and fluffy and full of 'ba ba ba's but half way through the band seem to collectively fall into the sort of deep depression you get when you realise that life is not all Another Sunny Day B sides. It gets very mournful and sounds rather like Fleet Foxes. Honestly.
Happily they quickly get out their stupor with the lighter than air 'Love is the Word' which is the sort of exact reason NME gave Heavenly's 'Le Jardin de Heavenly' 0 out of 10. The general consensus now is that they were hopelessly wrong to slag off indie pop but let's face it - a lot of it was total shit.
Not this though. Despite their occasional forays towards the sickly, the Smittens have enough here to keep this old cynic entertained and the main thing as always is good songs. A lot of theirs have the clipped brevity of those by Magnetic Fields. 'Cats for Cats' (oh God cats they are another indie pop thing) has some lovely melodies twisting around and 'Second Choice Girl' sounds like something Yo La Tengo might cover in future. Some tracks a Caramac sweet but you suspect that beyond all this they really want to be classic songwriters. Indie-pop is a good facade to hide behind though in case it all goes pear shaped. Stick a stripey jumper on it and call it good.
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