Vocalist Rebecca Sanborn freely details a running stream of thoughts and observations as "Red Mittens" unfolds, introducing Flaws, the newly released second LP from Portland trio Swansea. While Sanborn riffs through what she sees and feels, ("And, I don't sound cool/I don't sound smart/I don't sound awesome/I don't even sound like a freak"), she's anchored by a clap-along backbeat and minimalist stabs of synthesized tone, electronically enabled pop sugar a touch more elaborate than the "Warm Leatherette" of yore.
Swansea, the work of Sanborn (Loch Lomond, Blue Cranes), drummer Ji Tanzer (Blue Cranes), and multi-instrumentalist Kyleen King, is fun sans guilt, integrity and attention paid to how they approach synthpop constructs ("This Time") and percussive loops ("No Blame"), ear candy that's neither MOR or disposable. Particularly engaging is the chamber-infused "Just Like It Used To Be," arpeggiated keys and bowed instruments that drew me in upon first listen.
Below is a stream of the full album courtesy of Us-Them Group. If you like what you hear, you can purchase Flaws at Swansea's Bandcamp site. For more information on Swansea, head over to their site.
Letters From A Tapehead