Joy Zipper - American Whip

Alex Worsnip 15/03/2004

Rating: 4/5

I'd never heard of this band before, and at first they struck me as any old chillout band: pretty girl, quiet guy, gentle, pastoral summer afternoon music. But this record unravels its charms subtly and slowly until you are intoxicated. Weaving psychadelica, indie, space-rock and pop into one coherant whole, its full of gorgeous harmonies on tracks like the understated but ecstasy-inspiring 'Christmas Song', like a collision between European chillout and sweet, US indie music. The album benefits very much from the excellent production of the brilliant David Holmes.

Both of them have lovely voices, particularly the girl, who has one of those sweet, innocent American voices you could just die for. 'Baby You Should Know' is driven by rock guitar and a soulful feel that makes it a catchy, brilliant pop song somewhat reminiscent of Grandaddy. The uptempo, wistful optimism of 'Out of the Sun' breaks your heart with its beauty, 'Dosed And Became Invisible' is all gorgeous, hovering strings and 'Ron' is just as great a bittersweet, immense song about time and death and the Flaming Lips have ever mustered. Things close with the immediate, simple, inspiring 'Valley Stream'. Quirky, catchy, and sugar-sweet, this is the perfect soundtrack for 2004 as summer approaches. Pretty near perfect.