The Falling Kind
By: Eric G.
More indie rock than Stereolab but more refined than the Velvet Underground, Semi Gloss inhabits a niche where catchy, moog-based pop doesn’t necessarily have to sound retro. Verena Weisendanger’s voice is low and soothing, melding well with the sprightly guitars and peppy drums. Guitarist Jordie Mokriski can’t churn out the hummable melodies fast enough. Even the slower songs like the title track have a palpable charm.
Semi Gloss’ music is light-hearted and breezy, almost therapeutic the way it seems to glide effortlessly through the speakers. The band incorporates jazz influences, French pop, and a bit of salsa into its blatantly pop formula. “Passerby” is, perhaps, the best example of the band’s immediacy with its hummable chorus, spry keyboards, and rhythmical guitars. “Playground” is a bit edgier with dirty guitars and playful, affected vocals, but even in the slightly more rocking songs the melody can’t be suppressed.
The Falling Kind is not exactly a headphones record unless you just want to escape into a world of smooth pop. Sure, there are droves of bands playing sophisticated pop these days, but originality is only a factor when the end result doesn’t add up to something new or distinctive. Semi Gloss certainly has a blithe appeal. It’s hard to imagine how this band has remained so far underground, though; the music is every bit as accomplished as such like-minded bands as Cinnamon or Ivy.