Thursday, February 23, 2012


The cover artwork for the second release from Fire Island Pines portrays that idealised picture postcard glamour of hotel life in Post-War America, before the optimism – and the short-lived opulence – faded. The band name also turns out to be an upstate and upmarket New York holiday resort. But the six-piece are in fact from Cornwall. And rather than living - or vilifying - the American Dream, Fire Island Pines are instead maintaining some very British traditions.

‘Oh Therese’ perfectly demonstrates this is a limber two minutes: the shy sophisticate sensitivity of Felt meets the swoon of early Postcard jangle as covered by a wet-behind-the-ears Tindersticks with some lovely muted trumpet. (The Stuart Staples comparison is also found in the faltering anguish of third track ‘I Was A Runaway’). ‘Carpathian Elegy’ extends this in a more leisurely manner reminding me of lighter moments of The Pale Fountains: sunshine pop guitar jangle tinged with brittle regret. Final track ‘Rickie Lee Jones’, all finger-clicking bounce and sway, delicately recounts an fixated encounter with one of the eponymous singer’s albums in a second-hand record shop (“
in 2003”). It is sung with the soulful croon of young Edwyn Collins but so bashfully done it refuses to look you in the eye. From here return to the opening track and you realise just how (relatively) confident and upfront ‘Oh Therese’ is.

I hope I don’t make this EP sound overly inhibited or retrograde. Fire Island Pines may know their indie-pop lineage but are never in thrall to it. And yes they maybe softly reticent but they have also turned in a bittersweet gem, opulent and optimistic in its own neatly formed way.

Oh Therese by Fire Island Pines

Rickie Lee Jones by Fire Island Pines

Fire Island Pines Rickie Lee Jones [BUY]

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