When I first heard electropop outfit Chew Lips' rather brilliant track 'Solo' a few months back, I got the distinct impression that it was a fluke. I'm not sure what it was exactly but, as much as I loved the song, something about it struck me as being a 'happy accident' that the band would struggle to follow up.
As if to mock my initial skepticism, the band have left both 'Solo' and subsequent single 'Salt Air' completely off their debut album, Unicorn. It's a testament to the calibre of the record (and perhaps my poor observational skills) that, only after listening to it a handful times, I realised these tracks were missing.
By teaming all-the-rage elements like spluttering synths and weighty basslines with rock guitars, piano and drums, the London trio have crafted a wonderfully textured album that sounds of its time but also vaguely vintage.
The band's intricate arrangements, range of tempos and knack for pegging down killer hooks serve them well throughout Unicorn's ten tracks but there's no question that Chew Lips' trump card is frontwoman 'Tigs'.
Whether snarling and wailing on the anthemic 'Seven' and 'Slick', or tenderly crooning on 'Piano Song' and 'Too Much Talking', she is commanding throughout and her charisma and energy percolates through the record.
Pick of the bunch for me is recent single 'Play Together' but Unicorn is an album loaded with potential favourites and I'd strongly encourage investigating for yourself.
If you like what you hear, be sure to catch the band when the play Dublin's Crawdaddy on Friday, April 9th. Tickets, priced at just €12, can be booked here.
Chew Lips - Play Together