If an indie pop record with a DIY aesthetic is the sort of affair that floats your boat, then you need to jump on the debut record from Melbourne based Soft Covers, out right now via Hidden Bay and Little Lunch cassette and vinyl respectively.
After homing skills in bands such as Dumb Things, People Mover and Future Haunts, the trio aka Laura, James and Dan formed Soft Covers and this debut long player Soft Serve comes off the back of a six track cassette Permanent Part Time, which came out in 2020.
There’s nothing that’s going to change the world in this record it’s fair to say, at least in terms of musical adventure or experimental sound journeys, but neither does it try to. In fact it’s charm and joy comes from the fact that it is what it is – a messy yet straightforward, melodic record with little gems of pop tunes about stuff that matters to you, but not really the world. You can’t have too many records like that at your fingertips.
The whole record builds on what’s come before in indie pop history, with nods to Heavenly, Sarah Records, Subway Organisation, Even As We Speak and Flying Nun littered throughout.
That’s not to say they Soft Covers don’t have their own voice though, and songs such as single The Real Housewives of Porpoise Spit – an ode to Betty Heaslop from Muriel’s Wedding, show they are skilled protagonists in the art of singalong boy/girl indie pop. Better still is when the band follow the slightly wonky, at times reminiscent of Badly Drawn Boy – opener Every Week is gorgeous, and is pushed very close by Coming And Going and Nth Qld, late 80. It’s strong throughout though, so by the time you reach album closer Point of View, you can look back on a record you’ll come back to again and again.