Album Review – The Umbrellas by The Umbrellas (2021) (Slumberland Records)
Around since the early 1990s and critically acclaimed, many indie-kids could sucuumb to the habit of being dismissive of a label like Slumberland Records for not being small/cool/boutique/indie enough.
Dismiss them at your peril though, as Slumberland Records have always managed to ensure that their ‘big indie heart’ beats with gusto, by continuing to display a total knack for unearthing and backing the very best in often jangly, left field talent.
San Francisco foursome, The Umbrellas have the potential to be their flagship act for some time to come if this debut is indicative, as they take all things C86 retro and augment it with various nuances of extra jangle.
As such Lonely and She Buys Herself Flowers takes the core scattershot aesthetic of The Pastels sound and grounds it with the fragile, jangled riffs, of all things Heavenly style fluttering.
Similarly, Summer and A.M gently pulses with those instances where The Pastels diluted their naturally playful inclinations and provided the listener with strangely emotive and beautiful, lo tempo tracks, that throb with jangly sanguine, whereas the twanging riffs of Near You and Never Available are Talulah Gosh resplendent.
Perfectly jangly, perfectly left field, this is an album that will undoubtedly be filling the ‘best ofs’ of the better blogs at the end of the year !