Reviews

The Wharves
Electa

(Gringo)

6/10

On 2014’s ‘At Bay’, The Wharves delighted in defying expectations of DIY indie-pop, interpolating ’60s girl-group harmonies alongside elements of prog, psych and folk. The formula hasn’t changed much second time round. Producer Rory Attwell returns to lend a deceptively homespun veneer to the work of three adept and versatile musicians, whilst ensuring this set of songs, which switches styles with alacrity, remains cohesive.

On the latter score, ‘Electa’ is every inch as playful as its predecessor, segueing between 4AD-inspired dream-pop, portentous folk, and fuzzy power-pop-meets-prog-rock, in a random-sample three-song run. Also as per ‘At Bay’, the trio’s tight-knit harmonies are captivating, but there’s more diversity within these. One moment their keening uh-ohs resemble Sleater-Kinney (‘John The Stitcher’), the next they’re showcasing lilting vibratos to rival The Unthanks’ (‘Venus Of Hornchurch’).

Ultimately, this refusal to be pigeonholed proves a strength but also a weakness, charming the listener with variety in the short-term, but leaving no enduring impression of The Wharves’ identity.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.