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Golden Grrrls: Golden Grrrls (Slumberland) 

Golden Grrrls are a new UK trio channeling the sounds of the Dunedin scene (1980s New Zealand bedroom pop) and vintage twee pop. I'd put them in the company of other recent bands like Standard Fare and Evans the Death who've put out smashing records that have gone largely undernoticed and under-reported. These are bands crafting some of the finest fuzz-pop records around.

Twee is a tricky genre to pull off—go too basic and it sounds infantilized and overly precious (like, say, '90s band Papas Fritas), get too referential and it sounds like you're merely aping your heroes. Golden Grrrls carve out a near-perfect in-between space on songs like the heavenly "Paul Simon," where male and female vocals spiral in competing melodies around one another and there's a simple, finger-picked guitar line as the drums rumble underneath. You can hear the band's love of the Clean or the Vaselines in what they do, but it's more than mere homage. It's hard to craft a sound this syrupy without it being sickeningly sweet, but the Grrrls manage it.

This is an album of crisp bedroom pop that has been, refreshingly, not buried under waves of noise or feedback. On "Take Your Time," the reverbed guitar melody rings perfectly clearly. On "Older Today," every whispered "ooh and "aah" of the background vocals registers beautifully. Golden Grrrls is perfectly warm, filled with direct and forthright pop songs that ache with nostalgia, but not too much.

More by Sean Bottai

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