Wednesday, May 22, 2013

REVIEW: Just Handshakes - Say It

My first introduction to Leeds' Just Handshakes was their engaging jangle pop song "London Bound". The sound was wonderful and with the excellent vocals from Clara Patrick I was reminded of one of my favorite C86 bands, The Popguns.  I'm pleased to report that the band's new full length, Say It, does nothing to diminish my early enthusiasm.  The twelve tracks are uniformly high quality, with an up-front sweetness and hints of melancholy.  While there is plenty of C86 jangle, the contributions of the synths and the delicate vocals keep a foot planted in the dream pop world as well.  And the collection ranges between gentle tunes and tracks that show a more than a bit of muscle and fuzz.  The band appears to have a sense of humor as well -- their original name was Just Handshakes (We're British), playing on the reputation of British reserve.

Say It deserves attention for its own qualities, to be sure.  But when one considers some of the qualities that make it so appealing -- he tight interplay of the musicians, the vocals, the carefully structured songwriting -- it looks likely to be a launching pad for exciting future efforts from Just Handshakes.

And here is the video for "London Bound" --

Say It was released on May 20 by California label Bleeding Gold Records.

Bleeding Gold Records

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