With singles sparking some keen interest and a live presence which has earned the band the chance to play the Leeds and Reading Festival last year, it is fair to say that UK indie pop band Juniors is beginning to make attention luring waves within the British music scene. Now the Leicester quartet is releasing debut EP Barcelona, a proposition building on the impact of those early singles and set to further the band’s already potent reputation.
The birth of Juniors came with the conveniently timed demise of its founding member’s previous bands. This was in 2013, and the moment vocalist/guitarist Jamie Hives, bassist Jake Tasker, and drummer William Bond, already school friends, linked up musically. Working on their sound, the trio subsequently enlisted guitarist Daniel Lee to the line-up in the following year and swiftly set about having a strong 2014, which as mentioned saw the band play Leeds and Reading. It was a year where the band also found itself earning interest and plays with BBC Introducing shows in the UK through the singles We Swim and Declare & Surrender as well as spins on BBC Radio 1’s Jen and Ally show. Now it is Barcelona primed to wake up a new and greater national spotlight on the band, and though the release does not blow the socks off it easily makes Juniors a prospect to keep a close eye on with its striking potential.
The release opens with new single Elusion, a song which from its first acidic and inviting embrace of keys within a rhythmic and sonic web has ears and attention gripped. The just as swiftly engaging vocals of Hives begin to unveil the evocative narrative and emotion of the song soon after, backed imaginatively by a strong creative weave woven by the guitars and a hearty and indeed earthy bass sound. The core of the song is an inventive and accomplished proposal which seems to gain strength and persuasion with every listen whilst the citric wash of keys is simultaneously at odds with and a potent compliment to the sounds within its reach. It is an intriguing and enjoyable blend, a busy and slightly tempestuous one which allows the song and band stand out.
As mentioned previously, Juniors is tagged as indie pop but there is a great raw edge and aggressive roar to their sound and presence which continues from the opener into the following We Swim. The song definitely has a more reserved and emotively mellow presence than its predecessor but with punchy rhythms and cloudy atmosphere aligning themselves to great vocal harmonies and sparking guitar enterprise it offers a forceful rather than gentle encouragement to embrace its appetising lures. The song, as the release, does not exactly create a brand new adventure yet there is something fresh and rigorously captivating about the band and sound which takes both to the outer edge of the crowd if not yet completely away from it.
Declare & Surrender steps up next with a misty ambience equipped with floating harmonies as its initial tempting and an emotive flame of melodies and vocals as its body. It is a potent weight of tempting punctuated by the ever pungent and heavily hitting swings of Bond and coloured by the shadow clad tones of Tasker’s bass. Through the sonic imagination of Lee and Hives there is a beaming progressive essence to the song too which definitely argues against the band being merely tagged as indie pop, yet has that catchiness soaking its sound which supports the suggestion.
It is a fine end to a richly satisfying bigger introduction to Juniors. People are already expecting big things from and for the band ahead and though only one EP, Barcelona does nothing to raise any doubts or questions. We will all have to wait and see but with more offerings like this it will be with an eager breath.
The Barcelona EP is available via Robot Needs Home from April 20th @ http://itunes.apple.com/album/id970561123
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