Where have The Chap been all our life? Well, we've heard their name bandied around before, but we've only just discovered new album Mega Breakfast and been thoroughly enriched as a result. It sounds like a criticism when an album sounds like it doesn't know what it wants to be, but here that's pretty much the North London outfit's strength. "Pop improv disco rock with strings" they say, which basically means junior LCD beats colliding with warm, surging indie rock, choral choruses next to underplayed vocals and curious interjections, all laced with their own uberwry sense of humour. A quick unsatisfactory summation? Sparks writing for Hot Chip. And now, a brief lecture on 1960s electronic music.
The Chap - Carlos Walter Wendy Stanley
We've had The Puddle's No Love No Hate on our hard drive for months now without getting round to it, which probably means that among interested parties we're last to it by some distance. The Puddle have been going in various forms since 1983 under the auspices of, and now pretty much just, Dunedin's George Henderson, this their first proper album since 1993 when they were on Flying Nun Records, the label that has done more than most for New Zealand indie over the last three decades (The Clean, The Chills, Garageland, Gerling, The Mint Chicks, The D4) which by and large gave rise to a form of jangle known as the 'Dunedin Sound', later claimed as an influence by Pavement. There's something of that band's mid-career warped post-lofi melodies with too smart lyrics and that Clean/Chills lineage here as well as Syd Barrett idiosyncracies and a Byrdsian hook-laden jangle. There's already a new album lined up for next year by the looks of it.
The Puddle - No Sequels