EP Review – Racing Heart by Annual Leaf (2022) (self released)
Annual Leaf are a foursome based in Melbourne (Australia) who seem set to cement the city’s burgeoning reputation of being ‘the jangle city’.
Swathed in the best of yesteryears Antipodeanana (can you copyright a term?) the five track brilliance of Racing Heart is presented in two nuances.
Initially and perhaps unsurprisingly, considering two of the band hail from New Zealand, Perfect Wave, Wish Radio and the title track, offer the ramshackle and chiming dulcet of Flying Nun acts such as early The Clean and the more sprightly end of the Sneaky Feelings aesthetic and course the laconic flat stringed disinterest of the Melbourne dolewave scene, straight through it’s core. It is a clash of retro and modernity, but a glorious one.
The EP’s true standout of Thru the Garden and San Fran Shadows, reduce the overt dulcet and replace it with the wistful, plaintive jangly indie-pop of The Go-Betweens. All reserved emotionality and subtle jangled riffs, these are the best tracks that Grant McLennan and Co never got around to writing.
A sudden contender for EP of the year has most certainlY emerged !