Soft Science

20 Oct

I’ve been trying since June to find time to post this. Meanwhile, if MP3s were tapes, I’d have already worn out my copy of Soft Science’s debut Highs and Lows. Their sound is a checklist of my vulnerabilities: melancholy lyrics, soaring harmonies, confident percussion, fuzzy guitars. Plus, singer Katie Haley’s delivery evokes at moments St. Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell or The Raveonettes’s Sune Rose Wagner. So I was smitten from the start. Love is the recurring theme, in all its many flavors. There are healthy doses of power pop and dream pop treatments here, but the most memorable songs are the nuanced and restrained ones. “Better Be Good” draws its strength from the smoldering embers of a broken relationship with an startling honesty that recalls “Voices Carry” (before you heard it a million times on ’80s rewind radio). “Put Your Arms Around Me” holds back in all the right ways – all that is left is Ms. Haley whispering sweet somethings in your ears, leaving you wanting more. Speaking of wanting more, this is only the second LP from Sacramento’s Test Pattern Records. Here’s to more where that came from…

Better Be Good from Highs and Lows (2011)

Put Your Arms Around Me from Highs and Lows (2011)

testpatternrecords.com