The Empty Set – As Neat as a New Pin
I tend to think of Tough Love Records as being at the cutting edge of cool indie pop – think The Sequins & Favours For Sailors – so this kind of release sits really strangely in their general portfolio as far as I am concerned. This is twee, gentle, lighthearted loveliness – not and angluar guitar chord or rapid-fire drum salvo in sight.
The band includes the superlative violin-playing talents of Little Dan from Honeytrap, coupled with a gentleman by the name of Tom about whom I know… er, nothing at all, actually. The music they make tends to revolve around a gentle strum on guitar from the latter, what sounds like vocals from Dan for the most part [apparently not – see comments], and embellished by the same gentleman’s politely curious violin wandering. Just occasionally a little feedbacky guitar or electronics will introduce themselves, along with brief hints of ukulele and piano, all of which gives this record a lovely, lazy texture to its overall sound.
The album might take a little time to sink in. The pace varies subtley, from the jaunty pleasures of Alice & Bob, to the more moody, and rather surprising, version of Some Candy Talking. These ups and downs are quite gentle though, so it would be easy to allow the noise of life around you to overwhelm this album when you play it. I would be careful not to let that happen though, because it really is worth the attention if you sit down and really listen to it. It’s a total curve ball from Tough Love, and an absolute corker.
The Empty Set – Portia, I Dreamt You Were Real
The Empty Set – Some Candy Talking