With spring starting to dissolve the grey of the rainy winter, the arrival of ALASKALASKA’s debut album couldn’t feel more timely – the balmy, shimmering atmosphere of their ethereal indie-pop feels like the musical equivalent of dipping into a warm pool after months of bitter cold. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Lucinda Duarte-Holman, the south London five-piece have spent the last few years building a following from Goldsmiths art college and beyond, helping to inform 12 tracks that feel youthful and playful, yet unhurried and mature.
Similar to Alvvays, Nilufer Yanya or Porches, ALASKALASKA put an oddball twist on pop sensibilities, with an imagination in their song writing that breathes vibrancy into every hook. The record flourishes to life with the title track, and elsewhere delivers grooves that you’d struggle not to call “jazzy”, and disco rhythms, with ‘Tough Love’ chucking in a wave of fuzzy riffs. Accompanying these eccentric instrumentals is Duarte-Holamn’s dreamy, occasionally warbled vocals, and her lyrics are anything but boring; tackling topics from the emotional whirlwind of PMS (‘Moon’) to the struggle of navigating an increasingly technological society (‘Meateater’).
There’s still room for ALASKALASKA to grow and refine themselves from the crowd, but The Dots is an extremely promising start, showing a young band who seem to have no interest in fitting into a stylistic mould, who instead are more content chasing down their own quirky ideas.