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Sugarplum Fairies

The Images We Get

(Starfish Records; US: 12 Apr 2011; UK: 12 Apr 2011)

A breathy, engaging little triumph

Paradox can be a powerful thing. The combination of hushed female vocals over jingling, poppy guitars is not exactly new, but Sugarplum Fairies (bad band name alert!) do it well. The poppy bounce of “Plastic Sky” is irresistible, and well served by Silvia Ryder’s breathy singing. The band has more than one trick in its bag, however. Down-tempo tunes like “Heart Hell” and “The Images We Get” rub elbows with energetic workouts like “One Trick Pony” and “Jump the Gun”. Ryder indulges in plenty of Mazzy Star-style longing and sliding off the note, but acoustic strummers like “Moth” show a little more verve than that band ever managed. The accordion undertow in album closer “96 Dreams” manages to be at once unexpected and perfectly placed.


Is The Images We Get groundbreaking? Hardly. Engaging, toe-tapping, and fun? Yes, yes and yes.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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