High Park Records
By: Eric G.
Dallas is a quintet from Estonia, and its debut album is an elegantly brilliant blend of jangly sixties pop, Stereolab, The Cardigans, and early nineties shoegazing. The songs are all tightly woven with swirling melodies and ace hooks with a healthy dose of noise. Vocalist Kristi Kindel evokes an ethereal dalliance not unlike Francoise Hardy or Nine Persson but balanced with a sensual confidence. I can’t get over how catchy these pop songs are. Where has this band been all my life?
The music has a strong European flavor, but the universal indie-guitar pop is dominant. Even the catchiest songs on this record have a haunting quality- sort of like The Smiths the way they coupled depressing lyrics with totally blatant pop songs, although the band claims that its music is “pure entertainment…it has nothing to do with depressing tales of struggling musicians.” There’s a thread of darkness throughout, but you can’t help tapping your feet.
The band admits influences ranging from the Velvet Underground to The Jesus And Mary Chain to Sonic Youth and on to Pulp, all of which can be heard on one level or another here but nothing is too obvious. It’s mostly just easy listening disguised by noisy pop architecture. The songs are inventive and clever and the production brings out that direct feel of sixties, kitschy pop. What a debut.