Tuesday 25 June 2013

Souvenir Stand - Days

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

Well this EP is a pure delight. Souvenir Stand are a band from New Jersey who are based around the songwriting talents of Stephanie Cupo, a self-confessed Beach Boys fanatic, and it shows. There's a '60s vibe that you get straight away from first track 'Wherever You Go' that seems inspired by the girl-group melodies that Brian Wilson was so influenced by. The arrangements a perfect too; not too lush, but just enough brass and rolling drums to give a flavour of that era and a slight Northern Soul stomp. It gets better though. It's well known that Brian Wilson was a Ronettes obsessive, and the two collide on 'All I Want To Know', a stunning pop song that has the kind of orchestration that Wilson would use for 'Pet Sounds' (and they make it sound as good) but the vocals and the melody could be straight from a Phil Spector track.

There's not much change for 'Days I've Spent With You', but then why on earth would you want there to be? With so many bands setting their sights on the sounds of this era, we finally have one who've nailed it, not just borrowed the chord changes and smothered them in lo-fi fuzz. These would be bona fide classics had they been released in 1964. The production and the writing are just perfect, and of course each track clocks in at just under three-minutes long. Lastly is the lullaby-like 'We Will Have Our Day'. You can't accuse Souvenir Stand of being any kind of pastiche band; they've set out to recreate the sounds of Wilson and Spector and have done so in a manner that both of those men would surely be happy with.

Souvenir Stand's website

Stream or buy the EP

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