7 Aug 2015

Palms and Pelicans / Sungaze (EP review)

Image of The Sungaze EP

Hailing from the New Forest, outside of Southampton and Bournemouth, Palms and Pelicans are a dream-pop band that are, well, extremely dreamy, and extremely poppy. Their second EP, Sungaze, might seem, on first glance of the cover, to be an almost cliche post-Slowdive shoegazing effort where the emphasis is on the reverb and not the songs, but if you assumed that (like I, uhh, totally didn't) you couldn't be further from the truth.

The band are a four-piece whose elaborate melodies revolve around the vocal pairing of Mattea McKinnon and Jack Lawrence, as well as huge sounding guitar tones that get euphoric in places. I've got to admit, it took a few listens for me to get into this record, but now it's one of my absolute favourites to come out all year.

The two vocalists voices harmonise heavenly on Unbelievable, where lyrics of crippling south doubt are set to beautifully euphoric guitar tones. The lyrics "It's so unbelievable how I/am so incapable at this" are set to some beautiful tones that just totally recall the Cocteau Twins' 1990 album Heaven Or Las Vegas.

The title track, which is admittedly probably my least favourite song on the record, has a really gorgeous slowcore feel to it, and whilst it's probably the track where the production lacks a little and the instrumental parts feel kinda thin in places, it overcomes that by just being so damn strong melodically.

The highlight of the EP though, is almost certainly the infectious dream-pop number Turn Your Back, which, again I didn't like a lot after my first listen. It's a bit of a breakup song, that has forlorn verses set to a *big* sounding guitar part and a dramatic descending chorus. But what makes this fantastic is it's outro, which, after a few noodly guitar picks, kicks in with an awesome blast of swirling shoegaze, like at the end of the 1992 Brixton version of Dreams Burn Down by Ride, or more recently, Wolf Alice's Swallowtail.

Palms and Pelicans are one of my favourite bands on the South Coast at the moment, and after this EP, I'd really like to hear a full-length, because not many bands manage to make the whole 'dream-pop' sound their own in the same way that this quartet do. This is four incredibly strong songs put together, and with all the great shoegazers being revived you should give these new guys a shot, because they rule.


you can get the EP physically for £2+p&p from HERE or hear it on soundcloud, or below

(written by calum cashin)