Given all that all-pervasive fretting over the relevance of guitars within the context of contemporary music, and the purportedly diminishing role the instrument now plays in the composing thereof it’s all too easy to neglect its inimitable qualities – qualities which London bros Angus and Oliver James nonchalantly employ to maximum impact. Their creative nom de plume forebodes The Death Of Pop, though it’s a moniker which was surely first coined with tongues lodged so firmly in cheek so as to induce ulcers, for theirs is a breezy, and dare I say it poppy brilliance. Their latest, Kiss Me Quickly (Kill Me), revolves giddily around one of popular music’s most cherished lyrical tropes – that of amorous uncertainty in adolescence – and swizzles it around the sort of dizzying throwback, but forward-thinking lo-fi Ariel Rosenberg would surely still be capable of producing, were he to wake up and smell the ‘Haunted Graffiti. “Your hands are tied ’til the end of time” they chime sketchily atop a tinny guitar line which shines bright like the crystalline waters of a timeless N64 game, and it’s one I can hear standing firm for some time to come.
Though it’s the irrepressible ebullience of its predecessor, I’m Really Into Sally, which consummates the seduction as it plays off the weightless merriment of Paul Simon’s Graceland, albeit were it transposed into a more intensely urbanised European setting. Replete with tingling Mediterranean nylons and one of the more urbane of harmoniously regurgitated modern-day choruses, it’s a world away from the overbearing, and indeed unending blare of their hometown yet still it sits pretty as spring veers into view beyond the fogged window.