The Whatevers - City Lights Fade

by Andy Brown Rating:7 Release Date:2011-05-07

The Whatevers are an indie-pop outfit from Leeds and this is their rather brilliant new five-track EP, City Lights Fade. The term indie has expanded over time to incorporate bands that are arguably not very indie at all. I mean, all that moody stadium-rock stuff like the Kings of Leon and The Editors? And whatever happened to the NME? Anyway, that's my moan over with. Thankfully, the songs found on City Lights Fade don't resemble anything you're likely to hear in a stadium. The Whatevers make the kind of genuine indie-pop you're more likely hear in a bedsit, an independent record store or at the Indietracks festival. Think Orange Juice and The Smiths as well as Ballboy, The Magnetic Fields and Milky Wimpshake.

City Lights Fade is a satisfyingly lo-fi and charmingly ramshackle experience but that's not to say that The Whatevers aren't competent musicians. Each of the five tracks is a compact indie-pop gem. There are male and female vocals that complement each other perfectly. The boy vocals remind me a little of Martin Rossiter (that's the singer from Gene pop fans) but less Morrissey-lite.

The lyrics are pretty great too as they sing, "Everybody knows indie boys can't fuck and they don't do the washing up…" on the effortlessly charming 'Everything But the Kitchen Sink Drama'. The last track, 'Anne Boleyn', conjures the kind of wistful melancholy that Belle & Sebastian used to do so well. Oh, and there's a song called 'Why Girlfriends Are Better Than Guitars'. It's twee, it's witty and it's fucking great.

The Whatevers are in love with that great indie-pop/lo-fi sound and if you give them a chance you will be too.


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