If you’ve looked at your music collection lately and found it lacking in adorable teenaged university students, then today is your lucky day. Norwich duo Alloy Ark’s debut EP, To, the Bottom of the Sea, is a collection of love songs in the key of twee, featuring the piano and quirky babydoll stylings of vocalist Danielle, accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Doug. It is almost impossible to find a photograph of these two anywhere, and Google searches result in a few live performance videos taken at a range that preclude identification in a lineup. In our fame-obsessed age of wanton self-promotion at all costs, it is refreshing to find a band that genuinely wants its music to speak for itself. Arty comma placement and backstory notwithstanding (you never want to read the word “menstrual” in a rock press release), this is not cute kids in anoraks doing their best Regina Spektor impression. The piano and interesting rhythms, especially on tracks like “Sailor Song” and “One Two Three Four”, give an almost vaudevillian feel that keeps Alloy Ark from sounding like Kindercore-by-numbers. Adorable, yes, but also unexpectedly complex.
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