Sunday, 16 June 2013

Review: Don Valley EP - We Aeronauts

We Aeronauts: Don Valley EP

EP: Don Valley
Label: Beard Museum
Best track: Out of the Don Valley
Rating: 7/10 

Now that summer's just around the corner, what better accompaniment could there be than We Aeronauts' jangling indie-pop? Despite numerous lineup changes over the past few years, and band members living in various parts of the country, they've overcome the odds to produce a wonderful new EP with Oxford's Beard Museum.

Through the Door is a gloriously upbeat start to the EP. It perhaps verges into 'twee' territory at times, however, the rich layers of guitar help anchor the track, and give it an edge to prevent its sugar sweet vocals from taking over. Chestnut Tree continues the summery vibes with its infectiously catchy melodies. The mix of vocals from Anna Wheatley and James Cunning seems reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian, whilst still retaining its own unique blend of poppish melodies and rich layers of instruments, that make the song such a joy to listen to.

The second half of the EP takes a simpler, more laid-back approach - a wise choice, as four tracks of chirpy, overly happy vocals could have been over the top. Instead, Distance Learning, has a more soothing quality, perfectly capturing the peacefulness that summer can bring, as well as the sunshiny happiness that the earlier tracks seem to paint. However, it's not until the final track that the band really show the true strengths of their musical ability. Out of the Don Valley has a refreshing innocence, starting with only ukulele whilst Wheatley sings with such clarity, and even when the song builds up with Cunning's intertwining vocals, its simplicity is not lost amongst the instrumentation. The trumpet solo, rather than sounding too overpowering, complements the paired back nature of the track, and is a welcome addition.

Across the whole EP, We Aeronauts harness a genre of pop that's incredibly catchy, and although this makes for easy-listening, it would perhaps be a trial to listen to a full album of relentlessly upbeat melodies. Yet, for four tracks, the tone is just right - the perfect summer EP. 

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