Fuzzystar - Late Night Radio

Owain Paciuszko 22/09/2010

Rating: 4/5

Absolutely wonderful dream-pop from Scotland-born, London-based Andy Thomson and co, aka Fuzzystar; this debut ep starts strong with the ukulele driven title track Late Night Radio, where Thomson's wistful voice reminisces about listening to tunes uninterrupted by 'unnecessary talking before each track'. Thomson has a deft and light touch, injecting his songs with pathos and knowing humour, he's somewhere between contemporaries Sweet Baboo and Aidan Smith, with hints of folk luminaries such as Elliot Smith.

Even At My Worst skips off a teeny-tiny drum beat and Thomson's glum vocal a nice counterpoint to the lightly plucked guitar and sitar-like sounds. 'Try my best, but fate just throws me' he remarks over the jaunty rhythm, it's a carefree anthem for the despondent dreamer. Mathematics feels like a rock tune played at a children's picnic, it bears some similarity to Cardiff-based twee ensemble Little My but stripped of that bands kaleidoscopic sound and turned into a 'raw' twee number. Finally the Elliot Smith influence is worn on the sleeve with closing track Falling in Love, Thomson's vocal becoming a wispy, cracked remorseful murmur over twinkles of glockenspiel.

This record - the CD has a limited run printed to look like a mini-vinyl (with ridges and everything!) - and the care that went into its presentation is evident in the perfectly formed gems contained within. Fuzzystar make small, deceptively simple, but emotionally loaded tunes about the quirks and failings of dreamers and romantics. Thomson's songwriting is a delight and his quartet of co-musicians compliments his ideas beautifully. A really lovely debut release, can't wait for the LP.