At its best, Florida St. Serenade is bright, catchy, tuneful indie-pop.
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.