Album review by KevW
In these days where bands are whisked into a studio to rush-record an album with the aim of capitalising on any modicum of hype to create a quick buck, it's reassuring to see that London-based clan Exlovers have taken their time to get things right and to make a record that they're happy with, not one manufactured to exploit the buzz generated by their NME shows way back in 2009. It's a credible, brave and some may say risky move, but five years after the first murmurings of a band coming together, they finally give us 'Moth'. They've done their bit and are presumably happy and proud of the outcome. But what will the world make of it? Are those who fell for those early singles and gigs still interested?
Well if minds have wondered and tastes have moved on to newer pastures then the fickle few will be missing out on a damn fine pop record which flits between shoegaze, C86 and indiepop. 'Moth' flies out of the traps with the hyper-speed dreampop of the suitably titled 'Starlight' and then straight into the melody-tastic single 'This Love Will Lead You On'. Vocally things are kept subtle and breathy whoever takes the lead, which brings an attractive lightness that only serves to enhance to fragile tunes. Exlovers aren't like a pair of old leather boots, they're more delicate, almost flimsy at times, and this suits them down to the ground.
Previous single 'Just Like A Silhouette' still jangles with joy, making great use of those wispy harmonies, and fellow oldie 'Blowing Kisses' feels like it was recorded with a grunge band rehearsing in the studio next door, the walls just thin enough for a hint of their dirty fuzz to be caught on tape. Mazzy Star bump into Slowdive on the actually very lovable 'Unlovable', and 'Wish We Never Met' glides by like a guitar-wielding sigh. Buzzing indiepop is embraced on 'You're So Quiet' and 'Moth-Eaten Memories' on which it sounds like they invited next door's grunge band in for a jam. The bursts of colour on this record suggest that 'Butterfly' may have been a more suitable title. This is an album that's both dreamy and sprightly and contains so many hooks it might as well be a piece of Velcro. All things told, 'Moth' was worth the wait, no question.
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