Only an EP, yet this one gets it much more than the album. Instead of cheery, bland synth-pop they’ve hit a nice sad niche here. Only five songs and one of them an instrumental, but for the first time they’re writing real, fully formed songs. Thing would get much better, but for now you should really be able to dig the pretty “The Aspidistra Flies,” a simplistic love song with an Orwell reference for a title. And an Orwell reference makes me very happy. None of the other songs are wonderful, but there’s a neat-o creepy stalker anthem with too many synth drum,s if that’s your thing.
Comfortably mellifluous singer man Torquil has been joined by another singer, Amy, and her voice is even more succulently mellifluous. Together they sound mature here. They sound like they’ve tapped into that relationship duende that remains the band’s signature sound. How about that!
Remember, kids: when your partner tells you bad news, don’t try to one-up them for misery. Wait until later for that. First, repeat what they told you to make sure you have it right. Then affirm that it’s indeed bad – a simple “that sucks” usually gets the job done. Then ask for more details; talking it out will probably help them. Don’t push them if they don’t want to elaborate. Lastly, ask how they feel. Be sure to say “feel.” Then give them a god damned hug. Then you’ve successfully listened! Now run around, you lovebirds, you.