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Album Review

Tinny drum machines, goopy melodicas, and songs about cute boys: if these three things don't appeal to you, then you should stay away from the Besties. Indie pop fans with a penchant for sweetie-pie bands like Architecture in Helsinki and the Kings of Convenience, however, will probably find themselves falling head over heels for Singer, the debut mini-album from this dainty little New York-based trio. The songs don't have proper titles ("Pirate Song," "Space Song") every track seems to use the same peppy, slightly irritating drum loop (compete with a splashy fills), and the Besties' effervescent songwriting formula becomes just a little grating about five songs into the disc. That said, there are some good moments here, and there are enough of them to keep Singer from sinking to the briny deep. "Prison Song" is a genuinely fun track, and a memorable one at that; lead singer Marisa's deadpan vocals offer a good contrast to the song's wistful lyrics ("Did they give you my postcards? Are you allowed to get postcards? I didn't know..."), and the whole thing comes off as a nice balance of tart and sweet. Other standout tracks, "Sweden Song" and "Theme Song," are so twinkly and synthy that they'd be outright saccharine if the lyrics weren't so razor sharp, self-deprecating, and funny. Because it's so dizzyingly sweet, Singer might be best if taken in small doses; but even if it's potent, it's still worth more than a few nibbles.

Singer, The Besties
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