[11 September 2007]
The Triangles, a five-piece band from Melbourne, Australia, turns its eye country-wards on its fourth album Seventy-Five Year Plan—or at least, if not totally outback, at least to the Hills Hoists and white fences of 1950s Reg Mombassa suburbia. Throughout their new record, the band shows an easy appropriation of familiar melodic folk-pop forms that avoids feeling lazy out of the entirely un-ironic joyfulness of it all. Call this suburbia-pop, with neither the peppy nerdiness of Belle & Sebastian or the paired syrup/melancholy of Jens Lekman. The Triangles share Lekman’s love of structural antics—“Our Crops are Doomed to Fail” neatly halves tempo with so smooth a transition you hardly know it’s happening until you’re there. But Eleanor Horsburgh, the group’s main vocalist, doesn’t have the compelling sound of either Feist or Laura Viers, and the group’s homely country aesthetic is unlikely to have the same indie appeal. Still, songs like “The Headlights City”, with its unexpected mention of a digital camera (you’d instead anticipate Victoriana and solemn Colonial imagery), rocks forward with a kind of understated but inexorable darkeness. And the subtle ghosts of country life wrap around “Be Careful What You Wish For”’s meandering, occasionally dissonant countermelody. Though they sound at times like white kids singing gospel and at others like a Christmas carol, the Triangles most often charm with their nerdy, suburban indie-country-pop: “I looked in the library and what did I find? / Every answer to every question that ever did cross my mind”.