Chorusgirl first made waves with their single Oh, To Be A Defector. This charming indie-pop anthem complete with funky bass and glamorous yet robotic vocals pushed their self-titled album to moderate success. What followed for the band was sadly not new found fame and fortune but a long saga of personal tragedies, bad luck and bad news. Chorusgirl didn’t just step out of the spotlight, but off the stage completely. But now the merry band of introverts are back with Shimmer and Spin. This foot-tapping, smile-inducing, collection of pleasant melancholies sums up their missing years and looks forward to a brighter future.
In Dreams puts the album forward on a nice if forgettable start. Such is the almost ethereal synthy quality of the band. It’s not bad sounding. Just difficult to focus on at times. Dreamlike and moving as opposed to tangible and analytical.
No Goodbye tears open with jangling Johnny Marr guitar embellishments. This enjoyable push gets the foot tapping started but carries on in the same way until the charm wears thin. Each member of the band seems to be able to strike out a great “bit” and then immediately get stuck in a groove. That said, the track ends with a surf-rock type guitar flourish worth braving the three minutes fifty seconds for.
Vor dem Fall is apparently a “coded political pop song”. The coded political is certainly present but the pop song is not. Demon Baby is little more than catchy and Love is Like, despite interesting lyrics does little to fill its run time of less than three minutes.
Not Yours is a moody look at introversion that ends as soon as it becomes interesting. Stuck is equally undynamic. Kinetic Theory is fairly moving and Stitches fails to bring the album together. The songs are nice enough four minute indie-pop tunes but feel as if they’ve been constructed from the flotsam and jetsam of the band’s favourite 80s and 90s numbers.
The band are billed as inspired by The Cure and the Cocteau Twins, which is no bad thing, but they would certainly benefit from moving away from their formats. They have the potential to be an 80s inspired cousin of The Ravenettes but instead sadly languish halfway between 1980 and nowhere. Shimmer and Spin is a curious misstep from a band with ample potential.