Clumsy // Love Pop
Recommended Track(s): Simple Desire
Oakland’s Clumsy is a self-described “bedroom psych” band founded by a bunch of hip high school kids that have a really good ear for writing catchy tunes. Their New Year’s Eve 2015 release Love Pop stays true to their lo-fi pop roots, with elements of psychedelia, prog rock, and new wave thrown in.
The release opens strongly with “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” gracing listeners with dreamy and shoegaze-y guitar and ushering in a drum change that leads into a headbanging groove (the vocals remind me of a love child of Ron Stewart and Bob Dylan – nicely done, Matthew Horton.) Second song “Simple Desire” is a lot like a lo-fi version of the The Police (pre-Zenyatta Mondatta) with a saxophone solo that adds a surprisingly complex jazz layer to its poppy gleam. Title song “Love Pop” is very catchy with its Andy Summers guitar effects, Beach Boy harmonies, and flowing string arrangements. The incorporation of field recording segues and vocal snippets (which the band refer “talented amateur voice actors”) tie the tracks on the record together while sounds of a busy crosswalk, a bus driver announcing “Next Stop, Love Pop,” and recreations of Adventure Time quotes are a fun addition to the release.
Love Pop is an enjoyable ride, fusing multiple genres and emotions into one package. It feels full, complete, whole. Clumsy’s mastery over genre and their own sound gives them the potential of evolving into something great.
Tl;dr: Love Pop is the beautiful and growing love-child of Mac Demarco and an early, lo-fi Police. If you like anything coming out of Captured Tracks, you’ll enjoy this release.