It’s Analog Birds’ first collection of all-new music since 2007, it’s just an EP, just 4 tracks (but also just $2 via Bandcamp) and it is a delightful set of songs – there’s more in the seven minutes of Exit Visa than in the full career of many bands. It’s a bit of a Heroes & Villains/Paranoid Android starting off with the feel of the great Todd Rundgren records and Beatles and Beach Boys feels before twisting and turning and kicking up its heels and heading off toward XTC land. Well sure – you can draw the line (easily) from Todd through Beach Boys/Beatles and on to XTC, in fact he did it himself, but shit this is a great track. The gorgeous Over To You follows with SMiLE-esque “frog chorus” backing vocals, as this five-piece manages to do the full Wondermints-styled power-pop meets classic pop.
Ragdoll Serenade is the closer and by this point it’s almost showing off – a dizzying run of ideas across just the standard three-minute pop-song ride, a little bit Olivia Tremor Control/Elephant 6, still with those Brian Wilson-esque chords and textures too.
Opening track Atlantic Terminal is the “rocking-out” track of this collection, a bit Dirty Projectors-like, an actual grunty rock vocal too and some fuzz. It’s a great scene setter but the three songs that follow eclipse it.
Nineteen minutes of magic right here. Really quite extraordinary, a breath-taking run through savvy pop tropes and ideals.