With it now being a decade since their formation it would be easy to assume that Norwich-based, sickly twee-pop renegades Bearsuit would be comfortable to relax within a snugly knit indie-pop niche; yet ‘The Phantom Forest’ serves as proof that this is a band unafraid to move out of their comfort zone. Maybe it can be partly down to the shift in rhythm section personnel that has led to a musical re-evaluation, whereby boisterous pop songs, rich in their hallmarks of stop start dynamics and sugary melodies, now often have an added low brow kitsch ’80 synth pop edge, which makes this album feel like they’re a band who are making a step into a new territory while also keeping a foot firmly in their past. Inventively genius this album isn’t, but by being immensely fun it proves that this youthfully spirited group have lost none of their sparkle.

By Nathan Westley

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