Dawn Chorus

Florida St. Serenade

by John Bergstrom

4 September 2008

 

After two self-released albums comes Dawn Chorus’ debut with Chapel Hill-based indie label Fractured Discs. At its best, Florida St. Serenade is bright, catchy, tuneful indie-pop, heavily reminiscent of Go-Betweens fronted by Robert Forster. The opening trio of tunes is especially impressive. “I’m Cured!” has one of those jagged guitar lines that sounds made-up-on-the-spot, but is all the more charming for it. “Oh Please” packs romantic angst into energetic hooks, and “Whitman’s Sampler” is the real stunner here. A jaunty, dusty, country-western-style coed duet, it’s so tried-and-true that you can’t believe it’s not a cover of some lost Tammy Wynette classic. The title track pays homage to an oft-overlooked ‘80s pleasure, the Smiths instrumental. The album sags a bit in the middle, but “It’s Human” picks things back up with its moody, shoegazy atmosphere. As with the Go-Betweens circa ‘83, not everything makes an immediate impression, but Florida St. Serenade suggests that, as with their Aussie predecessors, Dawn Chorus is more often than not worth the work.

Florida St. Serenade

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