Whyte Horses are from Manchester and this album came out earlier this year, but only just landed on my desk a few days ago. The band is the brainchild of one Dom Thomas who runs the Finders Keepers record label that re-releases obscure records from around the world – check it out, there’s some crazy assed stuff on there!

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The above information about Thomas is important in understanding Pop Or Not as it is both quirky, but at the same time really well informed musically.

On first listen I was immediately reminded of Nico era Velvet Underground and particularly tunes like I’ll Be Your Mirror and this is in no small part down to the inclusion of Julie Margat on the record. She sings in both French and English throughout Pop Or Not and her idiosyncratic delivery is barely sung but whispered, conjuring mental images of mid to late sixties, jangly and slightly Rive-Gauche proto-psych- pop music, though trying to pin a genre on this eclectic and diverse record is all but impossible.

There are seventeen tracks on Pop Or Not and whilst it’s not going to be on the radar of those buying into Cowell-Fodder, it should appeal to those looking for interesting and stimulating “pop” music that is a little left of centre and at times harks back to a different era.

Stuart Smith

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