You should know that it’s taking a lot of effort not to just write “summer jamzzz 2015” as my entire review and leave it at that. But away we go:
Members of buzzy bands Mauno (Eliza Niemi) and the WAYO (Mike Fong) come together to make moody synth-pop that really is best served in a summer haze. With each song right off the page of an angsty diary entry, New Love Underground ooze teenage melancholy. Like the EP title suggests, it’s an honest one but an honesty that’s also filled with all the doubt and dramatics that make up teenage years.
Despite all this angst, TBH is a gentle collection of danceable tunes. New Love Underground nicely take the sting out of lyrics like, “time to cut it off, long overdue. I’ll always love you” as heard in “Soft Hair” with pulsing synths and 80s-like electronic beats and Niemi’s airy vocals. The painful relationship stumble that lies in the lyric from “All High and Saying Nothing”, “don’t wanna go but I know that one of us should, I know that one of us would if we knew better,” is almost buried under its protective layer of dreamy synths but can’t completely cushion the blow.
With an almost comical, yet oh so right, keyboard melody, the opener “Leos” is the most accessible way to fast dance away your blues. The twinkling keyboard filled “Prom Night Breakup,” another standout, tells the story of an ill-fated prom night that will hit a little too close for some people.
TBH, this EP is pretty great.
Top Tracks: “Leos”; “Prom Night Breakup”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)