Literature - Chorus (Slumberland)

Gorgeous, shimmering indie pop from the Keystone State

Released Aug 18th, 2014 via Slumberland Records / By Lewie Peckham
Literature - Chorus (Slumberland) It's fitting that Slumberland Records should release this, the newest offering from Philadelphia based Literature. When you think of all the trademarks of indie pop - the lovelorn vocals, chiming guitars and a bookish, heart-on-sleeve lyrical content - the Oakland based label is the first name that springs to mind so it's fitting that Literature’s second full length of jangle-pop should find its home among bands like The Wedding Present influenced Gold Bears and, maybe Slumberland’s best known purveyors of heartbroken fuzz-pop Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

Where Literature share the Pains love of fast-paced blasts of pop fuzz they also show, on Chorus, a real homage to 80’s UK post-pop stalwarts Orange Juice, The Smiths and Aztec Camera and show a studious devotion to the genre throughout the LPs eleven tracks.

Opener 'The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything' bristles with urgency and soul, its spiky melodies and warm vocals fighting for the spotlight and coming together in glorious harmony. Anyone who has visited seminal London club-night Scared to Dance or has spent an afternoon swooning at an Understudies set at Indietracks will lap up Literature's sunny, fast-paced take on the genre from the moment the first song starts.

The rest of Chorus follows suit in a delightful fashion as the open-chord bliss of 'Court Date' and the aptly named 'Chime Hours' bring to mind some of Johnny Marr's most effortless guitar work. The hazy gorgeousness of 'New Jacket' is pop-perfection with the swell of keyboards wrapping themselves over woozy whammy-bar bends and “ba-ba-ba-ba” backing vocals. The album soon becomes the musical equivalent of throwing the windows open during a long, hot muggy summer and letting the breeze fill your room. Chorus might be this years unofficial soundtrack for indie kids who hate the summer months in sweaty sprawling towns and long for an empty park with just a cold drink and a pair of headphones for company.

Sure, its easy to play ‘spot-the-band’ and accuse Literature of unoriginality or just criticize the band for paying tribute to their C86 heroes, but by doing that you are missing out on a record of tremendous songwriting and musical chops. Leave your jaded opinions at the door and just enjoy Chorus for the stunning indie-pop gem that, with repeated listens, it will ultimately prove to be.