The Dawn Chorus - Something's Changed EP

Mike Mantin 12/08/2006

Rating: 4/5

Four South Coast guys who bonded over a love of good old indie-pop, The Dawn Chorus' fine second EP marks them not just as an above-average unsigned band but a genuinely original, different indie-pop prospect compared to their signed contemporaries. First song 'The Man That I Held In My Arms' is their finest and probably future signature track, its country twang and upbeat Shins-esque melody is instantly loveable. It's topped off by some character-based storytelling rarely seen in the UK but currently mastered in the states by The Decemberists and Two Gallants. "My husband he beat me so terribly," sings frontman Keith in a pleasing drone, "it felt like a had no choice, but the man that I held in my arms was a boy". It's a rousing story set to a pretty country stomp that Colin Meloy would be proud of.

For a band with the word 'chorus' in their name, you'd expect a perfect grasp of how to write a great lighters-aloft one, and next track 'Winter' acts as further proof. Set up by the almost melodramatic croon of the verses, the chorus of "winter came and winter went/and took away my oldest friend" may be a little clich├ęd, but the shouted harmonies and crashing drums rescue it from the box marked 'pretentious' and drop it just the right side of 'epic'. Finally, 'Little Pinpricks' boats another fine, country-tinged backing, but its tune is the least memorable, with less of the touches of brilliance which made the first two tracks so wonderful. It is still, however, far more tight and focused than the average unsigned band, and if this is the weakest we're going to hear from The Dawn Chorus, I'm looking forward to a solid album. The accessible yet engaging songwriting of this EP should soon make The Dawn Chorus a hit with both tastemakers and radio listeners.

The Dawn Chorus Website