LOST MAP’S quirkily lovely alt.popsters Firestations have released a really bright and moreish single, “The Circular”, ahead of their March EP, Melted Medium, which sings with a indiepop summeriness last heard around these parts with Real Estate – or, going further back, maybe even The Railway Children or something on Flying Nun. Bloody lovely, it is.

It’s a singular part of the bands ongoing Automatic Tendencies project, and is available across the usual digital streaming platforms right now – and, as part of Lost Map’s PostMap Club subscription service during February, it’ll be supplemented by two exclusive bonus tracks, “Phantom Fire” and “No Commonground”. 

“The Circular” will also feature on Melted Medium, which will be released on limited-edition CD-R with handmade artwork as well as digitally, come March 5th; it’s the second of an intended trilogy, following on from last November’s Automatic Tendencies and to be completed, we’re told, by Pixel Wilderness as 2021 unfolds.

Each embraces a mixtape aesthetic, including alternative versions by the band as well as covers and remixes of new Firestations tracks by other artists. Thoughtful; well-curated; good show.  

“The Circular” bright shimmer comes with a lyric in praise of revisionism: “The circular is here – we have to change, we won’t make it last any other way”, the hook.

We’re also told the EP features a reversion of “Small Island”, transposed into French by Lost Map stablemate Clémentine March and titled “Le Scaphandre”. Now that sounds pretty ace – check out her latest twin singles here, they’re brilliant – and that reworking also comes with quirky, intelligent concept of its own.

Clémentine says: “Instead of trying to literally translate the lyrics, I worked on sound consonances between the two languages.

“‘Scaphandre’ means ‘diving suit’, and I wanted to write a joyful absurdist sea tale.

“I recorded the song in a gleeful early autumn near Epping Forest, with Michael’s precious help.”  Excellent stuff.

Connect with Firestations at their website and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud.