There’s a fine art to the lazy day.

Spending 24 hours lost in the pages of a book or in the hazy realm of a daydream is a feat beyond even some of the most talented homo sapients. Watching the clouds go by is no mean feat.

Dang Clēts have the required appreciation of life’s finer things – the amorphous shapes of those clouds, the slight tug on your heartstrings as the book’s plot progresses – to make their self-titled debut EP the sonic equivalent of one of those righteous lazy days.

It may be mellow-going, but it’s not blissed-out. The phrase “Blissed-out” brings with it nightmare images of hippies tripping in perpetuity as if The Dead were still on tour.

Rather, Dang Clēts is what they’ll play on the jukebox in the malt shops of the future; the shimmering keyboards, harmonies so high it makes you ask “is that a human?” and the chiming lead guitar lines paint sound pictures of love from the neck up at high school dances.

The horns on I She blend masterfully with the song, never taking more space than they need. Following track Whips And Wild Horses displays Dang Clēts’ level of musical mastery with its interweaving bass and guitar lines, all perfectly executed within the context of the song.

Could Be Nice is, in fact, very nice, complete with sparkling guitar chords that lay the foundation for soaring vocals that’d turn Brian Wilson green. Lead single Lines is an excellent choice for the role. It encapsulates everything wonderful about Dang Clēts’ sound; from the innocence down to the slightest hint of urgency underlying all four tracks.

All this pleasantness could make Dang Clēts come across as a little bit bijou. Almost to the point of insincerity. But the clever use of a solid, but never overpowering, backbeat across the four tracks lifts these songs from the depths of disingenuousness and gives them a leg to stand on. So as they can look you in the eye with their bashful half-smiles.

Dang Clēts never overdo it, they never ham it up, adding another dash of sincerity in place of more ham-fisted twee elements.

There’s no bashing you over the head with obsessive, neurotic repetition, a mistake many a pop tunesmith makes. Instead Dang Clēts play to their unique, individual strengths. In doing so, they have crafted some damn fine pop songs. Pop songs to cradle in the palm of your hand.

by James Fleming

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