The Superimposers

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The Superimposers isn't so much a debut album as it is a collection of four 7" vinyl singles that were released in small quantities over 2004 and 2005. A duo from rural Dorset comprised of singers and multi-instrumentalists Miles Copeland (no relation to Miles Copeland III, the high-powered artist manager and former head of IRS Records) and Dan Warden, the Superimposers got a number of early comparisons to both Air and the Beta Band, due to their commingling of electronica and more experimental musical concepts, but listening to these nine songs in one go like this, the more obvious point of comparison is the High Llamas. Much like Sean O'Hagan, Copeland and Warden have an unapologetic fondness for the soft side of '60s pop: songs like the playfully psychedelic "The Lovely Sky Boat" and the lushly melodic, string-bedecked ballad "Would It Be Impossible" are firmly rooted in U.K. freakbeat and toy town psych on the one hand, and the southern California school of sunshine pop that sprung up in the wake of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds on the other. The arrangements might make judicious use of synthesizers and electronic percussion, but the overall vibe of songs like the tooth-achingly sweet, harmony-drenched reverie "Rainbow" and the full-on orchestral easy listening swells of "Chasing the Tide" owe everything to the likes of Harpers Bizarre, Tony Hatch, and Curt Boettcher. Fans of those styles of music, still fashionable in certain circles, will adore The Superimposers, but it may be slightly too twee and cute for anyone who doesn't own anything by Pinkerton's Assorted Colours.

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