Claudia Malibu

We'll Find You

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Everything about We'll Find You is unequivocally (and wonderfully) pop, with a particular bent towards '60s melodic ingenuity and a loopy, jangling garage rock ambience as well as the type of innocently wide-eyed subject matter ("Golden Parachutes," for instance) of the era's most delightful soft rockers -- bands such as Sagittarius and the Association. "I Love the Way," in fact, borrows the guitar hook from the latter's "Never My Love," but Claudia Malibu is not about subscribing to the same saccharine featheriness. There are charming hints of bubblegum sweetness ("Johnny Payroll") and coed vocals that twine around each other gloriously, but the band is more about severely skewed songcraft and worldview than they are about evoking an era. Claudia Malibu is terrifically eclectic and modern at the same time. They are just as capable of breaking into a strummed heartbreak ballad ("Angels Are Forever") or countrified dream pop with girl group overtones ("First Ones to Find Us") as they are appropriating certain hallmarks of space rock twangy reverb, the wispy tone, zoned out sound effects -- without concerning themselves with the austerity of the genre. The sounds that the band wrenches out of its keyboards are nothing short of fabulous, completely tripped out and warped. Lyrical references, on the other hand, range from nostalgia for bygone kitsch objects such as the Atari game system to patently strange abduction tales (they are "Kidnapped" by aliens and stranded in space in one instant, and ask to be taken again in "U.F.O."). There is a certain sonic simpatico between Claudia Malibu and the Apples in Stereo (particularly on "Big White Lie"), but it is mostly a simple function of the throw-caution-to-the-wind quality that they share and the mutual grounding in lighthearted pop styles from the '60s. The music is loaded with idiosyncratic appeal and served up with a side order of psychedelic production touches. It sounds like an album that was fun to make and it is certainly an album that is pure joy to listen to. We'll Find You neither attempts to capture a particular mood nor reinvent pop music wholesale, and that is part of reason it is so utterly infectious. It is whimsical and has a ragged radiance that simply doesn't wear off.

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