If you haven’t heard of London’s The History of Apple Pie, you probably shouldn’t beat yourself up about it, as they only released their debut album, Out of View, last year. The unintentional product of singer Stephanie Minh and guitarist Jerome Watson messing around with a guitar and a computer in a bedroom gave them their start. With an added touch of a drummer they found on the Internet, who magically came along with a bassist and another guitarist, they got their start. Now they’re back a year later to try and expand on their shimmery indie pop with Feel Something. Can they go beyond the glimmer and dole out a sophomore release that hits deep?
They kick things off with “Come Undone,” which has this undercurrent of electric guitar that runs through the whole song—be it in the background as that shiny, clean sound, or in the center of things with a little bit of added twang It’s not a bad first number, but the superstar song that simply steals the show for me is third up on the record, “Keep Wondering,” which is that kind of track that you’ll want to play on repeat all day, and maybe all week. It opens with a sort of preview for the number, as if you’re hearing the band rocking out in the other room, thirty seconds go by and you finally decide to open that closed door and there is the band at their finest, the jangly lead guitar knocking you off your feet with waves of striking sound, reinforced by the tambourine-heavy percussion and the crash of cymbals like waves off fresh ocean spray. If this wasn’t enough, then Minh steps in with her honeyed vocals that seem to float atop the mix with their airy quality. Altogether, this creates an easy listening song that also cuts through with a little rock in that guitar—simply a great track.
There are some other pretty killer songs on this record: I like the little simmering number “Puzzles,” which lets the group sink into a bit more of a sultry number. The guitar on this song has a bit of snarl on it as it loops through the tune, giving the band the most bite possible with their sugary sound. Just when you thought that the track was already a step in a different direction, then it kicks into a whole new level towards the end, capitalizing on the build they’ve made and making this track go from good to great.
Feel Something isn’t really a step in any direction away from The History of Apple Pie’s first album, but in a fair number of instances on this sophomore record, I’m all right with that. I’ve found some number tracks to add to the genre of glossy and sunny jangle pop, and maybe you can too.