Scottish four-piece Tango In The Attic are selling themselves short with the self-appointed “sloppy offbeat pop” tag attached to their new EP, Crushed Up. While, sure, the lines between the various psychedelic pop touchstones here blur and waver like a spinning Magic Eye photo, the set feels more masterfully crafted than haphazard.
That control is embodied off the bat on “Sellotape”, guitarist/vocalist Jordan Craig repeating the mantra”I don’t care what you think/ I don’t care what you say,” things culminating in a blend of Animal Collective tribal clatter and buzzing chiptune synth. Craig’s reverb-laden and accented vocals can get hazy, though when he sighingly discusses a fickle love and how “she promised me in dulcet tones/ supple joints and milky bones/ a juicy pear and precious stones” on EP standout “Easybones”, the connection is instantaneous. That spark is only fueled by the track’s gleefully groovy horn loop, marimba arpeggios, and one catchy hook.
While closer “Crush” is similarly doused in acid and Paul Johnson’s bonfire-side rhythms, the choppy acoustics of “Pillowcase” show that Tango In The Attic can strip away the psych layers to reveal the indie pop core. While Jonathan MacFarlane’s layers of organ and electric ephemera make for a dreamy soup elsewhere, the simplicity and clarity of Craig’s promise that “I’ll be yours again” warm the heart just as easily.
After two well-regarded LPs, Tango In The Attic have taken the next step in their process and smashed it into a small dose of fine, psychotropic powder for easy consumption. Crushed Up hits the pleasure center of the brain all the more quickly, its highs derived from a fresh blend of frenetic, rapturous music and clarion emotionalism that bodes well for their in-the-works third LP.
Essential Tracks: ”Easybones”, “Sellotape”