Corbu – Crayon Soul
It’s not all that often that your ears encounter a debut as stylistically ambitious and texturally nuanced as Crayon Soul, with New York duo Corbu possessing both an ear for sound and an uncanny ability to dress electro-pop motifs in an array of different guises. They do dreamy (Better Better Off), bittersweet (Battles), fuzzy (Watchmaker), even left-field (Marching Orders) – and all of it alluding to perky 80s reference points that suggest a healthy seam of musical exploration.
Except there’s a ‘but’ or two before we get well and truly carried away. Doubts are emphasised (somewhat perversely) by all of the above, for this is record that swims in and out of focus, the (overtly) slick production and an overriding lack of clarity chiselling away at fixation – with its overlong instrumental break, Branches even manages to head down a total blind alley. There’s plenty of talent here; it’s just a pity that there are few rough edges to accompany it.