Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on The Lovepools, a Californian outfit that draws influence from the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, and more. Their sound, which was concreted with 2016’s ‘Safety In My Loveseat,’ evokes Britpop stylings that have now been meshed together with “a brash American sexuality” on their latest EP. Entitled ‘Animal Instinct,’ the new record houses three tunes. Let’s explore them and see if they’re worth adding to one’s independent music collection!
The title track of the ‘Animal Instinct’ EP is indeed brashly sexual, but in a particularly lovable way. It’s chock-full of cheeky, zoo-themed imagery and innuendo. The punchy, infectious atmosphere of ‘Animal Instinct’ sounds like, perhaps, Mini Mansions or The Kooks. The aforementioned Oasis influence is abundantly obvious, and the suave nature of the Arctic Monkeys is present, too. (Though The Lovepools take themselves less seriously than Alex Turner and company have a tendency to do these days, which is very welcome.) The synthesized brass sections are brilliant, too, pairing perfectly with the thudding piano and organ.
‘I Might Jump Off The Deep End If You’re Mine’ offers up some of The Lovepools’ finest instrumental banter, boasting thunderous percussion and terrific electric guitar banter. The quick-paced riffs may remind listeners of acts like The Hives, and one can imagine The Lovepools putting on one hell of a live performance if their enthusiasm and charisma translates to the stage.
‘I Should Be Fallin’ In Love With You,’ the closing of the EP, is a bit of a mixed bag. It has the obligatory acoustic ballad style, which all rock EP’s seem to have at some point, and it lacks some of the charm of its predecessors. The introspective lyricism, while sometimes lovely, is overshadowed by predictable composition. The chorus “oh’s,” for example, are a hallmark of pop rock today, and it’s entirely unnecessary. It makes The Lovepools sound less like a quality rock act, which I'd argue they are, and more like a cheap version of Of Monsters and Men.
The first two tracks of ‘Animal Instinct’ are superb explorations of a quirky, instantly lovable indie rock outfit that aligns well with their counterparts in the American and British music scenes. The sharp lyrical and instrumental exhibitions are well worth a listen, and indicative of The Lovepools continuing to be an act worth keeping close tabs on. The final track of the EP is a bit lackluster in contrast, but nevertheless may prove fruitful for sing-along show finales when the crowd all pull out their smartphone flashlights.
Give the band a spin below.