Norwegian five piece Mats Wawa are preparing for the release of their debut EP, ‘Scuzz’ which is out tomorrow (23rd February) via Black Pop Records. They’ve been causing something of a stir in recent times, after Mats Wang was booked to play at the Trondheim Calling Festival in 2015 and formed a band to help him out. Since then they’ve been picked out by luminaries such as the NME who declared them to be one of the hottest new bands around after performing at the by:Larm Festival.
Of the EP, Mats says “I’ve been inspired a lot by old soul music lately, and recently I bought an old Harmony guitar with gold foils that really wants to play soul music. Soul music of the type that the people from The Daptones are playing. All the songs on Scuzz’ were made on it, and I think both the rhythm and the strumming patterns are a lot inspired by that guitar. I don’t think these songs could have been made on another guitar.”
That Daptones influence filters through the whole EP, which flits between C86, late 60s British Invasion and a Daptones record with such confidence and skill that it’s impossible not to forgive them. Much of that confidence spills out of some of the catchiest melodies we’ve heard here in a long time. True Crime flits between George Harrison and Ronnie Wood in the same song, wrapped around the delicate indie vocal, whereas lead single Easy on the eye is an irresistable indie/soul stomper.
Hard to be happy, easy to be nice again finds itself with some Harrison-isms, worked into a little bit of torch song, but it settles into this rather lovely swoon-along slice of indie pop. Unsurprisingly, the last track is called ‘George Harrison Beatle’ and is just about the most sweet and naive thing you’ll hear all year.
Mats Wawa are hear. Prepare to be encapsulated.