Perfect pop nuggets sculpted into oddly captivating shapes.
Noel Gardner 2010-07-26
You can tell a lot about English pop trio The Superimposers by the company they keep. Wonderfulsound, the club night they regularly run in a Clerkenwell pub, finds them jamming with guests like Balearic DJ icon Ashley Beedle; Jonny Trunk, founder of the amazing mega-obscure reissue label Trunk Records, appears on one track on this, the band’s third album; and their newest member is London-based American Shawn Lee, who’s released a wealth of records on cult soul/deep funk label Ubiquity. The common thread here is retro music obsessives – but ones who choose to unearth wonderful, unheralded rarities for the greater good, rather than just glumly living in the past.
Sunshine Pops!, if you didn’t know better, could pretty much pass as one of these unearthed rarities. Save for the occasional burst of drum machine, the trio appear to be intentionally channelling the spirit – and production styles – of approximately 1968. There’s layers of blue-eyed soul and flowery psychedelia, and with a faint, albeit not unwelcome, inevitability the addled pop scheming of Brian Wilson holds sway over much of this album – certainly the aptly-titled The Beach. Where Do You Go jangles with a mod-ish purpose (while still being vaguely redolent of Summer Nights, from the Grease soundtrack); from there, it’s a hop and a skip to an imaginary Brazilian beach for Little Miss Valentine, which plays with infectious bossa nova rhythms and wistful backing vocals. The two original Superimposers members, Dan Solo and Miles Copeland (no relation to The Police’s manager), are listed as playing omnichord and “sea organ” respectively. Although there’s far more instrumentation than that on Sunshine Pops!, this rickety key-stroking comes to the fore on tracks like Seeing Is Believing.
Those who prize ‘authenticity’ in their music might be repelled by The Superimposers, and even people more inclined to sympathise may detect a whiff of cheese here and there. The Harbour Mystery, actually going so far as to incorporate seagull noises into its sugar-coated Super Furry Animals whole, is perhaps the apex of this. Yet their plain aptitude for penning perfect pop nuggets, and sculpting them into oddly captivating shapes, is near-unarguable.