Lucky Soul is a pop band. There’s nothing indie or rock or anything else about “A Coming of Age.” It is unabashedly, undeniably pop music. But it aspires to a bit more than your standard verse/chorus/verse mentality. The first single off their new album of the same title is a breezy, summery bit of happiness that doesn’t exactly conform to traditional pop structures.
There are melodies here, for sure; the female lead vocalist is assured of her skill and displays it well. But there isn’t a massive vocal hook that will have you screaming it out in your car. Instead, there’s an overall mood that makes me want to go drive Pacific Coast 1 (which, as Lucky Soul is from Britain, is a foreign concept) with the top down. The dramatic strings and angular, unusual lead guitar line lend this mood, as well as melodies more memorable than the specific vocal line. It lends the song much more atmosphere and replay value, as the worth isn’t in one line or chorus that can get played out.
There’s plenty to enjoy here. If this is the tack that Lucky Soul has tracked for the rest of the album, we’re in for a real treat when it drops. Thoroughly enjoyable pop that will leave you smiling. You can download it here.
Lucky Soul– Ain’t Never Been Cool EP
Lucky Soul is surely one of the most exciting new bands to come out of England this year. As evidenced by this three track taster from their upcoming album due April 9th in the UK, the band flawlessly mixes elements of Phil Spector-era pop (think The Ronettes, especially) with modern influences ranging from The Cardigans to The Concretes.
Lucky Soul transcends pastiche due to the combination of Ali Howard’s charismatic vocals and guitarist Andrew Laidlaw’s classic songwriting. The songs are at times a bit sugary but never overstay their welcome, and there’s always a sense of longing underneath that keeps things from getting too fluffy. “Ain’t Never Been Cool,” the first track on this sampler, is an example of the kind of life-affirming pop that, even while sonically referencing a completely different era, manages to sound completely new and exciting in 2007. Last year’s The Pipettes were just a warm-up… it’s time for Lucky Soul to take over the planet.
Lucky Soul–The Great Unwanted
Ruffa Lane Records
There’s been a welcome resurgence of the Phil Spector 60’s sound of late. The Pipettes perfected it with their single “Pullshapes,” Johnny Boy matured it with the soaring “You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve,” and now Lucky Soul have contemporized it with their debut, The Great Unwanted.
Earlier singles “Lips Are Unhappy” and “Ain’t Never Been Cool” hinted at the greatness of this English band… a sort of Ronettes meets The Cardigans sound that seemed quite unstoppable. Their full-length debut is not quite the masterpiece that it first seemed it would be, but it is nonetheless an exercise in fantastic retro pop. The bouncy new single “Add Your Light To Mine, Baby” opens the album on an up-tempo note, followed by the wistful “One Kiss Don’t Make A Summer” and the pure 60’s bliss of “Struck Dumb.” The best songs on here, though, are the aforementioned singles, although the pounding title track comes close. Unfortunately, there are also a few missteps. “Get Outta Town” tries to be much more fun than it is, while “It’s Yours” and “Last Song” offer a bit of a snooze-fest as a closer. In other words, the album could benefit from just a little bit of pruning.
Still, the sound is remarkably consistent without becoming tiring, and the whole thing sounds like a collection of could-be singles, even though they might have to travel back forty years or so to become real hits. But, if you’re looking for an album to soundtrack your barbeques this summer, you couldn‘t do much better than The Great Unwanted.