Normally, a 5 song EP wouldn't warrant a review. It's really too short an album length to be considered, and I would simply tell people about it in person instead of writing about it on my blog. Thing is, I had to take exception with Sprouts by Eastern Phoebes. To say I loved it would be an understatement.
The bands sound is pure pop, but not radio pop like we know today. It's retro pop, but modernized, which makes it easily accessible for fans of Foxygen and the like. The opening track, "Monsoon", which has a very easy but powerful drive to it's beat, is accentuated by a simple keyboard part that gives the song a surprisingly darker tone then I would have thought. It stays fun though, never going out of its comfort zone and introducing the band instantly as one to keep on your radar.
"Rolling Nightmare, I believe In You" and "Easter Blade", which sound like songs The Beatles might have written if they were given more time, display a maturity I've rarely seen in a band this underground. Both of these songs deserve to be on the radio, and for good reason. They're well constructed, the vocals are nice and they bring us back to a time when music was made simply for the art of it, and not the monetary gain of it. If for no other reason then these two songs, you should pick up this album.
The other two tracks, "Science + Mysticism" and "If I Could Ever Disappear", are fine additions to the EP, balancing out the album with a few solid songs. They maintain the bands approach, and don't try anything weird or tacky, which is a tremendous relief considering a lot of the acts I've reviewed have tried to do something too different to warrant it a success.
Sprouts is essential listening, and I don't feel weird saying that. I can't say enough about how much I love this bands sound, and how, if only for 14 minutes, they made me forget about my problems and the people who deliver them to me on a daily basis. Do yourself a favor and listen to it now. - Shane