Indie-pop is a term so broad that it becomes almost meaningless. And even when it comes to the better end of the musical spectrum, if a band can be summed up with such a simple and singular term, it is probably taking someone else’s place in the queue. Thankfully Underlined Passages are not so easily defined and whilst that opening term might suggest skinny jeaned wannabes with complicated hair who would like nothing better than to tour in support of Ed Sheeran, this comes from a more honest place.
The wonderfully named Tandi My Dicafi is built on sumptuous chamber pop sounds and shimmering guitar lines; it jangles with neo-psychedelic warmth and drifts with sonorous dream-pop ethereality. Being of an age and location that saw my formative musical years being a series of wide eyed excursions into small London clubs to watch bands such as The June Brides, The Icicle Works, The Field Mice and any number of cultish 4AD sonic explorers, Underlined Passages fit right into my musical sweet spot. And to term a phrase from an album of that era (The Orchids, since you ask….) there is more than a feeling of striving for lazy perfection on this album.
For perfection this is, or as close as you are going to get to it, but it is seemingly effortless as well, the various elements seem to drift into place rather than by design. In doing so Underlined Passages prove themselves to be architects of lithe, evocative and memorable music that glides airily from fragile textural ambience to immaculate and dreamy pop. The play off between the solidity of the back beats and the hazy nature of the melodies is the perfect balancing act, the former stopping the songs floating off into the twee-o-sphere, the latter softening the edges with bucolic wonderment.
It is a brilliant album, brilliant in that it is an album which both offers modern pop new possibilities, if only it would listen to reason, reclaims the term indie from the chart chancers (though in a perfect world this would be the soundtrack to the commercial cash till ring) and it reminds oldies like my of why we fell in love with music in the first place.
Tandi My Dicafi is available on 15th September via Mint 400 Records
More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/underlinedpassages/