Label: Untitled (Recs)
Released: 28th May 2021
“This is the last song ever. You don’t need any new songs!” wails Famous but not-yet-famous frontman Jack Merrett at one point here on the second EP from the latest London hypesters to swagger ’round the Windmill. A bold statement, but we’re happy to report that he’s dead wrong. And that’s his own fault tbh, because these new songs are so unmissable in their off-kilter brilliance that we’re definitely gonna need some more.
‘The Valley’ EP may seem to exist in a strange little bubble of their own making, but its themes are universal. Redemptive arcs through a quarter-life crisis, existing in an unforgiving city, loss, recovery, progress, all of human life is here. Running around happily in the same eccentricities as their debut ‘England’, this is a big leap forward led by the entirely engrossing ‘Stars’, a track that builds and builds into an uplifting electrosynth rhythm that ends up somewhere in those aforementioned heavens. And from there on, there’s so much going on that it’s dizzying.
‘Nice While It Lasted’, all apocalyptic XTRMNTR-style guitars underneath Merrett’s crumpled-like-soggy-cardboard vocals is exhilarating in its pure adrenaline rush, while the title track feels like a nightbus conversation as squeals of guitar erupt from lo-fi beginnings to emerge, unhinged and frantic, panting with its tongue out at the idiosyncrasies on show. Best of all, ‘Modern Times’ highlights an ability to shift through vibes, quiet beginnings becoming strangely epic as songs erupt and explode.
Is everyone going to like this? Goodness, no. It is as singularly independent and entirely of its own world as anything else you’ll listen to all year, and some may struggle to get on board with it. But for those who click with the frequency, then the wild pivots and unexpected left turns here are as pure magic in a bottle as it gets. It just makes us want new songs all the more. Sorry, Jack.