It will come of no surprise to Voluntary Butler Scheme fans that Sweet Baboo’s long-awaited new release has been co-produced by one-man band extraordinaire Rob Jones. It’s summery, jangly, relentlessly upbeat production makes for a perky listen and perfectly compliments musician Stephen Black’s loved-up tunes and fragile Graham Coxon-esque vocals. It’s fair to say that distorted guitars have never sounded so jolly.
From the first track to the last, contrapuntal layers of guitars weave in and out of your ears, reflecting the optimism of lyrics such as ‘How can I forget you, when all my dreams are of you?’ from the track ‘Bounce’ with punchy percussive beats. It’s to Jones’ credit that the EP works as a kitsch, sincere, conceptual record, rather than a saccharine collection of clichés.
Mixed in amongst the quirky tunes are occasional moments of vulnerability, reflecting multiple facets of infatuation. Ultimately however, the pop sensibilities of the record musically enact the lyric from third track ‘The Day I Lost My Voice’; ‘You will always raise a smile from me’, the entire EP is one massive, melodic grin. A must-listen.
Words: Frankie Ward