EP Review – Brighter Then by Real Numbers (2021) (Slumberland Records) (Meritorio Records)

RealNumbers

Back in 2016 Janglepophub cited Only Two Can Play from the Real NumbersWordless Wonder debut, as it’s track of the year. Or at least we would have done if that was not a complete fabrication and we had actually started the blog in 2016 rather than 2017 !!!
Aside from my despicable lies, what is actually true, is that the above track was a) something of an outlier in relation to the more incessant, less jangly tracks that surrounded it and b) that it gave something of a glimpse into what this Brighter Then EP has become.
Plainly Eli Hansen et al have spent much of the last four plus years immersing themselves into everything that was so perfectly jangly about the best of late 80’s / early 90’s indie-pop of the UK.
As such the brilliance of Darling and Brighter Then sees beaming Sarah Records style riffs, provide the sunshine that the romance and introspection of the plaintive, ‘made for indie’ vocal augment. At their very core these tracks are the purest of pop and deserve the honour of the Brighter / Trembling Blue Stars / The Field Mice comparisons afforded to them.
However, the best of the EP can be seen in In The End. This track dilutes the pop precision and tempers the sound with the slightest of Stone Roses / Sally Cinnamon vocal isolation / drone and swaps the sweet jangled riffs for a more chiming sound. The extra density somehow just works and augments the aesthetic a slightly darker energy, which is accentuated further amid the general saccharine.
The new improved ‘totally jangle-pop’ version of this Minneapolis five-piece works on so many levels and all of them are beautiful.
 

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