With a name like Awesome New Republic and an album as boldly named as Stay Kids there's a certain level of expectation before even pressing play. With a ghastly album cover as well, it's not something that would stand out as an interesting listen, though it couldn't be too saccharine as it's on the wonderful Something In Construction imprint. These are the folks that brought us Air France and Memory Tapes, so they've got to know what they're doing.

In an outcome wholly unexpected, the music is pretty damn good. Landing somewhere between the aforementioned Air France's chilled out vibe, Akron/Family's unabashed weirdness and harmonies and a slight MGMT circa Oracular Spectacular, it's certainly not going to stand at the back and be twee, as the clues would suggest.

This is the sort of music to feel nice to, it's not a boundary pushing sound (a lot of bands do the fuzzy psyche-y sound better), it's not full of remarkable compositions or anything other than damn good hummable tunes. An easy comparison would be Yeasayer, not so much sound wise, but in the sense that it's doing what it does well and sounding a bit different in doing it. It's leftfield pop if you will, it's not a life changer, but it's not exactly protestable.

The only real complaint is the production. At risk of sounding a bit old, there's a trend recently to produce things lazily, mixing everything in the same way. It's a shame, because every piece here has been blanketed with the same fuzzy pop sheet, every track doused in a little bit of reverb, everything just sounding a bit similar, which is a shame, because the tracks themselves are quite independent and interesting. Everything has the same idea behind it, and it leaves the whole album sounding lacklustre.

It's a good album though, despite all the criticisms. 'This Is The Timing', and 'Stay Kids' are lovely pacey jams that feel heady and summery, while 'Holes' is a fine, slow jam, but the overall feeling of listening to the album leaves the listener a bit unfulfilled, waiting for a crescendo and lacking a focal point as an album.

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