About these three beyond-charming tunes from a hopefully forthcoming 2012 LP, my notes read (edited for clarity): “Colin Meloy if he grew up on C86 and XTC instead of the Smiths and R.E.M.” and “Los Campesinos! Jr?”. Looking back, that pretty much sums up the Alphabet Backwards’ British Explorer EP: The buzzy pop with hidden forlornness of “Big Top” (“All I can do is think about you”); the disco bassline, burbling keys and smart aleck of “Tonight” (“Let’s call tonight forever and I’ll spend forever with you”); and the swooning violin and cello of break-up song “Taller”. Main man James Hitchman – with some help from Josh, Paul, Bob Tom, and secret-weapon vocalists Steph (first names only, please) – clearly knows his way around a fizzy pop tune. Definitely one to watch for in 2012.
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