Indie attitude and more importantly an indie ethos is great. When you add the promise of two members of twee indie bubblegum Vermont’s The Smittens your hopes are high. I was expecting so much and felt it didn’t quite deliver and at times it felt too contrived for me.
The idea for Dana Kaplan and Colin Clary to take time off from their main band and release an album seems like a decent enough premise. The overriding feeling is one of a missed opportunity. The Smittens could’ve done so much more with these songs. At least they have a drummer.
Maybe I’m being harsh. There are some nice moments throughout with echoes of Yo La Tengo and the Go Betweens but when the chance was there to go for something a bit more like The Pastels, or Beat Happening or Daniel Johnson we don’t really want to hear what at times sound like Strawberry Switchblade demos.
On Evy and Sarah, Dana Kaplan’s sweet pop voice takes centre stage and on Jackpot then 2 Hours sounds uncannily reminiscent of Tracyanne from Camera Obscura, no bad thing. Dana also shines on The Countdown, the stand out track of the album.
I’m an indie person. I like going to indie cinemas to watch indie movies. I buy indie music. I buy books by indie publishers. This album is released on WeePOP! Records and in the finest indie tradition, like Postcard, will be in hand screen printed covers all individually assembled and numbered in a run of 500. I’m not smitten by Let’s Whisper but I am starting to warm to them. I can’t help but think how brilliant the indie sensibility of Shortest Days would’ve been if it was recorded by The Smittens giving it the added shot of pop bubblegum.
Review by Charlie Brown