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World Atlas EP

(Magic Marker; US: 9 Mar 2010; UK: Import)

World Atlas’ influences on its MySpace page include Beach Boys, Donovan, Jonathan Richman, Galaxie 500, and Belle and Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister, but really it’s the latter that they most resemble. Perhaps the other bands could be added together in some combination to sound exactly like Belle and Sebastian. In any case, it takes about two seconds into “Saint Mary”, the first track on this self-titled EP, for the music to sound exactly, unmistakably, uncomfortably like a band trying its hardest to sound just like Belle and Sebastian did in that era.

The way the woman’s voice lightly accompanies the man’s, and lyrics like “Mary you’re the queen of all things sad and lonely / You’re too good for that” do nothing to make World Atlas stand apart. The rest of the EP is the same, with pop hymns for the sad, lonely and confused, from the “Girl on a Boy’s Bike” to the girl who “fell in love with her imaginary friend”, who, of course, ends up dumping her. It all will sound rather good, if copycat tributes to a classic ‘90s band are up your alley.


Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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