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Brave Irene

Brave Irene

(Slumberland; US: 15 Mar 2011; UK: 14 Mar 2011)

Fans of Rose Melberg’s ‘90s bands Tiger Trap and Go Sailor should find plenty to love on the self-titled debut EP from Brave Irene. The singer-guitarist recruited four friends for her latest incarnation of twee pop, which lays Melberg’s as-winsome-as-ever vocals on top of ramshackle drums and simple guitar and keyboard arrangements. Clocking in at just under 18 minutes, the eight tracks feel like one long exhale, and will loop around your head for days. “Tangled Line” is the album’s highlight, with Caitlin Gilroy and Jessica Wilkin’s keyboards bouncing off each other as the song goes from punchy to trippy. The slower tempo “Bank Holiday” evokes Melberg’s recordings with the Softies, complete with pitch-perfect harmonies and cute lyrics like “I walked all this way and forgot it was a bank holiday / Nothing was open, still I was hoping I might see you”. Like Melberg’s early bands, Brave Irene may only have a brief moment in the sun, but if these eight songs are any indication, Brave Irene should add to the sparkle of Melberg’s two decades-long body of work.

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Freeden is a graduate student in sociology. He lives in Oakland, CA. A former sixth grade teacher in Philadelphia, he once took some of his students to a Dizzee Rascal concert. They met the rapper after the show and found his accent perplexing.


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