Now that’s a clever concept, making music that both chimes perfectly with mainstream, modern sensibilities but which also sounds underground and aimed at the more discerning indie palette. But that blend of the commercial and the cultish is exactly what beats at the heart of Tell Me. It’s a record that echoes with past glories, the post-punk pop experiments of the eighties, the pop-rock guitar band resurgence of the nineties, the new wave of 21st century indie and beyond but it never once feels anything other than a big, bold beautiful step forward into a glorious future.
The title track and first single is a brilliant slice of attitude infused pop that reminds you perhaps of bands such as Lush once they had crossed the art-pop divide or Sleeper’s sharp-edged and infectious observations and somehow balancing the perfect pop moment with cool indie swagger. It’s a great calling card but rather than this e.p. being all about this one track it comes accompanied by a couple of songs equally capable of standing on their own two feet. Where Are You Now is a second, even more sumptuous piece of deftly wrought indie and things are wrapped up with the gorgeous piano ballad that is Katrina, a song that merely frames Therese Karlsson exquisite vocal with subtle piano, skittering percussion and some, half-heard distant guitar detail and is all the better for such a minimal approach.
Tell Me is one of those records that reminds you of any number of class acts that have gone before, not so much in the actual sound that they make but more that they have the ability to take familiar rock, pop and indie sounds and bend them into new shapes but having done so, and this is the really clever bit, they still come away with songs that already sound like long lost classics.