Those familiar with either of the protagonists involved in this release, an EP of rather lovely indie pop, with a nod towards folk and Motown along the way, will know what to expect. And, they’ll be glad to hear, won’t be disappointed either.
Helen McCookerybook has a formidable cannon behind her as a member of The Chefs and Helen & The Horns as well as eight solo albums, while Robert Rotifer has collaborated with Wreckless Eric, André Heller, Darren Hayman, John Howard, Louis Philippe & others and released eleven albums.
In this age of auto-tune and brushing up virtually everything in the studio, this has a charm about it, imperfections and all, as McCookerybook and Rotifer carve out these little vignettes on life and love, with Helen’s vocal clear and cool against Roberts Lloyd Cole-ish baritone, as he drops in and out of English and German within the songs
There’s a familiarity about the melodies as well, such is their quality, as (largely) acoustic guitars weave in and out of the songs, sometimes with extra accompaniments, sometimes not. Opener Start Your Life Again, and follow on No Man’s Land set the scene, both scoring high on these endearing melodies and a killer mix of the sweet and the melancholy.
I Fly My Balloon adds a little country chic to proceedings, while the title track has this skiffle sound that propels it forwards. Some of the best moments on the EP appear in the delicious Sorry (If you think there’s something to be sorry for) – cool, ambitious, and lovable.
Closer D-Spair ends abruptly and almost unfinished, as if the sadness in the track caused things to break down, or maybe as if they’re looking to carry on in this particular guise soon.
Let’s hope so.