CD Review: Curtains For You – “What A Lovely Surprise To Wake Up Here”

This Seattle based, five-piece retro-pop outfit Curtains For You have the delicious melodies and intricate three- and four-part harmonies that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The band consists of Matthew Gervais (guitar/lead vocal), Mikey Gervais (guitar/ sax/ vocals), Nick Holman (bass/euphonium/vocals), Peter Fedofsky (piano/vocals), and Dave Lawrence (drums). Leaning on a big pile of 60’s classic pop influences and structures, they put it in the blender and whip up into a fresh but totally familiar sound.

The opener “Nuclear Age” sets the tone with a Beach Boys meets Jellyfish harmonic that’s just irresistible. “This Dead World” is a Marshall Crenshaw meets Crowded House gem full of twisting lyrics and slinky slide guitar rhythms. And with a title like “Dumb Angel,” I’ll let you guess whose bag of vocal acrobatics they pull from. Every song here has a compelling hook and will win over plenty of fans, from the Merseybeat backing on “Title Bout” to the echoing guitars on “Clanging of The Masses.”

The influences are spread out quite a bit, not sticking to any set style – but the spirit of Elvis Costello seems to run throughout most songs on the album with a defiant narrative. A few exceptions are the vaudevillian “Small Change” and acoustic ballad “Chain Link Fence.” And ending with the wonderful “Licorice Skies” it even touches on a bit of XTC-like majesty.

Songwriting duties are split down the middle by Matt Gervais and Peter Fedofsky, both are great songwriters with tons of energy – and it takes a few listens to let all this sink in. A most welcome surprise that makes my top 10.

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