Minor Alps - Get There

“All the things that I’ve done wrong, a hundred songs for every one,” sing Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws on ‘Radio Static’, one of the highlights on this, their unexpectedly inspired debut as a duo. It typifies the approach throughout: eleven songs whose tone (lovelorn reflection, by and large - excellent!) and sound board (close-coupled harmonies, ringing guitars) rarely wavers and whose quality never dips. Caws’ day job with New York indie vets Nada Surf and Hatfield’s continuing solo ventures have rarely thrown up anything quite as captivating in the twenty or more years they’ve been plying their trade. As far as Hatfield’s concerned, despite much to recommend in her more recent output, she’s not delivered a set quite as essential as this since 1993’s Become What You Are.

It could have so easily been indulgent and small but Get There is bursting with energy and ideas. They're east coast kids but their breezy vocals are full of California dreamin'. On ‘Far From the Roses’, where the guitars overwhelm and the chorus wraps itself around you, you sense old hands gleefully stumbling on their youthful fire. The monicker does them a disservice: Minor Alps may be unassuming, their debut a modest and often hushed affair, but this is an album big of heart and hungry for a chunk of yours. These songs can move mountains. Take the time to find out why.

Overall

8

out of 10

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