Snow Machine

Snow Machine

Snow Machine

Snow Machine

Daemon

Acting like a seasonal foil to Camera Obscura’s summery orchestral pop, the piano-based group Snow Machine have brought us a soundtrack to the winter months. Perfect pop-chops are hard to sustain for an entire album, but the band has a decent array of hooks and enough savvy to fashion them together into fresh sounds every time. It’s not exactly innovation, but good pop doesn’t necessarily demand experimentation. With a stable that ranges from whirlwind, upbeat numbers to reflective ballads, the musicianship is so strong and the hooks so immediate, they mask that the biggest sonic leap from song to song is the changing keyboard tone. Lyrically, the fragile psyche of relationships in turmoil is handled well by vocalist Katharine McElroy. She has the perfect mixture of sweet and sad for lines like “You’ve not lost me yet” on “Paper Bird.” With the album’s crowning achievement, “Summer Snow,” she melds the disc’s best piano line with her catchiest vocal melody to create a level of sublime melancholy usually reserved for Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch. It might still be autumn, but Snow Machine is already manufacturing your winter doldrums, if you want to get a head start on such things…

Daemon Records: www.daemonrecords.com

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