Monday, 9 December 2013

September Girls - Cursing the Sea (Fortuna Pop!)

One of my favourite Indietracks memories is seeing September Girls stroll around Indietracks 2012, looking like a proper band, and looking like a group of people out to enjoy being in pop band, and whatever that might bring (in the case of the Nottingham gig we put on for them two days before, it was half a bottle of Pinot Grigio).

That all seems quite a while ago, and, as September Girls get ready to release this, their debut album, then it might be that they're about to leave nights sharing a Travelodge room behind. They've just supported up-and-comers PINS on a short UK tour, and this record has more than enough to see the band float off onto another plane altogether.

The early September Girls recordings are blessed with a rough around the edges vigour that it was hard not to fall for, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that they'd iron all that out on their debut Fortuna Pop! release. And, in some cases they have. 'Someone New' is a clean-as-whistle pop songs, complete with 'yeah, yeah, yeahs', but it's pleasing to see that for every chart-bound puppy, there's some proper dark stuff on here, and it's right at the start of the album.

The title track might start off all sweetness and light, but just as it's about to skip through the cornfields with you, it goes all mean and moody and steals your picnic. Then there's 'Another Love Song', full of wailing organs and thumping, almost tribal, drums. Or, if you really want to get spooked, try 'Left Behind', a modern gothpop (that's right) classic which sounds like it should be the soundtrack to the best nightmare you've ever had.

In between these is the brittle hit single, 'Green Eyed, which sits at the middle of the 'Cursing the Sea', and, like every perfect pop song should, holds the entire album together. Oh, and then along comes 'Ships' with its 'April Skies' intro and very nearly steals its crown, with its crushing, cruising chorus. Play loud.

Influences here are fairly obvious; to me it's Shangri-Las, Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division early Lush and Curve. September Girls will probably tell you something different altogether, but let's not fall out about all that, because 'Cursing the Sea' is mighty impressive in its own right.

'Cursing the Sea is out on Fortuna Pop! on 6th January. You may as well cancel Christmas now and just look forward to that instead.

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