Do not let her scare you off (yet). This is most likely worthwhile. Is this really the sleeve of a cassette/tape/tonband? Yes it is. That being one of the reasons I am reviewing it, it is also the following things:
- Most sneaky release of 2014 for me so far
- Short but great EP
- Reason I forbid myself to look at the “new releases” reel on Bandcamp for most of August
- Best reason I will probably betray myself in that regard
Why all that?. Before I tell you, I have to ask a serious question: What is Post Pop? What does it mean? If you have read my reviews on this page and the ones from way back, you will probably know, that I do NOT know my way around the genres. But for most of them I can at least imagine what they are about - and If I can’t, I usually read about it. I am very sorry, but I was unable to with Post Pop, because I could not find any useful information about it. So please - if you know - put me out of my misery by dropping me a line. For the time being I’ll go with the slogan of our friends at SectionZ: excellence > genre.
The whole Post Pop thing is an especially stupid situation for me because of the Name of the Label this EP was released on earlier in July. The Label is called POST/POP Records and is very good at releasing music on tape. Some if not all of them are available as physical copies in the Bandcamp Shop. If you like tapes, I’d recommend a visit.
Enough about the surroundings, more about the music. I promised to tell you about what makes this music special. As usual it is quite hard for me to put my finger on it, wrap words around it and present it to you, but as usual let us try nonetheless.
When I was browsing the “best selling / cassette” section on Bandcamp, this cover stared at me. I clicked on it and fell for it. If what Beginners do here is what Post Pop is, then I want more of it.
To me, this EP seems like a perfect example, why we should never try to take music apart and analyze it if we still want to enjoy it. Taken apart, the songs of this EP seem not very special:
- Simple enough and very catchy melodies that are quite, but not too playful.
- Driving Rhythms, not too complex but in no way simple. Some Elements of slower Two-Step and jumpy Indie Pop Rhythms.
- Very well sung Vocals.
- Lyrics that seem full of simple but in no way shallow truths.
Four simple elements of this piece of art, possibly all more or less arguably true. And all four descriptions are to a hundred percent missing the point: Bringing these elements together is what makes the details stand out: The slight melancholy in the melodies - The syncopation of the rhythms that underline the heavier part, the profoundness of the lyrics - which really lay it on the line about Love, and how to find out what to do in Life, all sung by Samantha Barbera, who succeeds in getting enough party mood into the songs to make me wanna dance instantly. What a gorgeous mixture.
There is no point in taking this apart to analyze it. How it is put together is what makes it a great piece of music. The Beginners really nailed it with every one of the five songs, the EP is made of. This is a near perfectly arranged collection, waiting to make you nod your head and keep your feet restless. Thanks!
If you like music videos, I strongly recommend the Video of the Single “Who knows” - which is not only very beautiful to watch and hear but also wraps it all up pretty nicely saying “All that we do is follow the world as it goes - All that we do is figure it out as we go” - could be everybody’s life’s slogan, couldn’t it?
If you want to have a listen, go to the Album Page at Bandcamp and pick up either the digital release (that seems to be free at the time of writing? How amazing! leave a few pounds for the Beginners anyway, if you like!) or, if you are pretty fast, one of the 100 tapes that have been put together by Jed Shepherd (who started POST/POP, read about it here). If they sell like the other POST/POP releases, they will be sold out quite soon (probably while I am writing this). Some of the tapes seem to be with Samantha, so if you are lucky enough to hear them live (probably anywhere near Los Angeles right now) pick one up.
That is it about the release that will be in my car stereo for now.