words by tom johnson
We try not to wax too lyrical about brand new bands, cautious of the fact that such things are incredibly fleeting and that a measured response to such things can be just as valid and useful as a splurge of superlatives. Poppies made it difficult, however, such was the glowing splendour found in their two debut tracks, covered on these pages back in September of 2016.
We need not have worried, however, for the bands debut physical release – the Good EP, out now and streaming below – is a brilliantly solid and endearing collection of songs, a gem in the truest sense of the word. What initially drew us in so completely in to their world was the sheer balance of their craft, the songs dipping between DIY aesthetics but also something pertinently considered and inventive. Such things are retained across each of the five tracks here, the whole thing simmering precariously, like a summer heat that could break at any moment.
Moving at entirely their own pace, “Good” is defined by its languidness, May’s voice a dusty adornment to an instrumental spine that manages to compel as much from what is doesn’t do as what it does. Always threatening to break-out in to some frenetic ball of energy, that sturdy guitar licks and skittering percussion instead recoils, or rather holds itself in place when such a thing seems somewhat impossible. Opening track “Devin” comes closest to fully letting go, the track ending in a high-pitched squall before suddenly dipping out of view, while stand-out “Dumb Advice” positively broods with prickly energy: “I’ll be cute and you be badass. Light up lay low, lay low. Cold blood flows slow, slow…” May sings with a tone that is never quite legible; a deadpan delivery but with a fleeting flash of the eyes that throws you off guard.
Over too soon, but presenting many an affectation that lingers long after the final chord has drifted off in to surrounding ether, ‘Good’ is both that and so much more; a meaningful addition to 2017’s armoury that acts as a beautifully sturdy stepping-stone, we hope, to even greater things. Check it out below.
‘Good’ is out now, via Topshelf Records (tape) and Superfan99 (vinyl)
You can buy it here