Recapturing youth’s emotionally intricate pleasures is never easy, but this duo from Kolkata, India, revel in it.

Science City

Their second album sounds so superficially innocent one might mistake it for wimpish, yet it offers a complexity that is, frankly, lacking in acts more muscular.

After all, it takes courage to be this gentle, and Nischay Parekh’s high-pitched, winsome voice, and Jivraj Singh’s understated electronic and percussive embellishments  are as bold as Parekh’s contemptuous confession on the carefree Be Something: “I never agree with what she says/ I’m a dickhead”.

Indeed, Science City’s as peppered with wry observations as it is indelible melodies. Evening Sun starts like a gentle Police, Parekh asking “Do you have it all/ The things you want and more/ Like insomnia?”, and, flitting between Surgeon’s gentle vibraphone chimes, he becomes a neurosurgeon “who sees through the trap of reason”.

At times, their sweetness recalls Kings Of Convenience, as on the appealingly shy Hello or the childlike Monkey. Crystalline, however, boasts a yacht-rock smoothness, while Summer Skin may simply be this year’s loveliest, most bittersweet, pastel-shaded five minutes, and Forward Slash its most rewarding, carefully crafted song.

8/10

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Wyndham Wallace

 

*review contains affiliate links

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