The Icicles

Pure Sugar

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By all rights, "Lemonade & Somersaults," the centerpiece of the Icicles' wonderful debut EP Pure Sugar, should be a staple of all indie pop mix-tape swaps for years to come -- an irresistible mélange of effervescent vocals, clipped guitars, la-la-la harmonies, and a melody to die for, it's a virtual primer in pop perfection. The other five tracks aren't quite up to the same gold standard, but more than any band in recent memory, the Icicles seem destined to fill the void created by the demise of indie legends like Tiger Trap and Cub -- they capture the same sheer joy and affection for making music, and the simplicity of their craftsmanship belies their intuitive genius for indelibly catchy pop hooks, as well as the poignancy of Gretchen DeVault's vocals. It's the best thing to come out of West Michigan since pigs-in-the-blanket.