Seven out of Ten

From Martin Raybold at whisperinandhollerin:

“Great pop songs are light without being lightweight. Take, for example the lines from The Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 classic .”Cool town, evening in the city /Dressing so fine and looking so pretty” which a sense of a time, mood and place with great economy.

It’s a difficult balancing act to pull off but Dion Read makes a fair stab at it with the five snappy songs on this ep. It helps that Read is the type of guy who appreciates girls with freckles and is not impressed by fancy clothes (a fact which is obvious enough from glancing the cover photos of him and his band looking like male models for Top Shop!).

Fashion is definitely not the be all and end all here, if it were we’d likely be hearing another blast of arty-punk or avant-rock. Instead, Read takes his cues from the melodic song writing skills and piano playing of Ben Folds: “most of my knowledge of chords and structures stems from there” he freely admits.

Given the sunny mood of this record it is appropriate that Read grew up listening to songs from his father’s 60s pop collection in the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.

His songs are sharp and unpretentious reflections on, you guessed it, summer, the city and pretty girls.

The best is the most self reflective. ‘Air Balloons’ epitomises Read’s ‘no worries’ philosophy as a young man who lives for the heart rather than the head. This song tells how he feels as lost as the hot air balloons he has seen on TV but, ever the optimist, he consoles himself the thought: “I think the best things in life are gonna pass me by / that’s okay ’cause I’d only ever put them all to waste”.

A nice, feel good record to add to next summer’s playlist.”

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