Chamber rock with pop tendencies.
Hands Down is the band of Filip Sjögren and he has a knack for mixing up different styles of pop and rock together to give a diverse and interesting debut EP. ‘Never Been That Happy’ shows off Filip’s creativity and songwriting flair. Think Coldplay crossed with Kishi Bashi and you are part way there.
The title track is the meatiest of the trio of songs. It mixes chugging guitars with symphonic violin motifs in a happy but tired melody. Speaking of Tinder dates that go nowhere, it’s a mix of futility and bounce that gets you drawn in. Stylistically it’s at the point chamber pop and rock cross over and I really liked the feel. Synths, falsetto vocals and off-kilter skipping drums make ‘Paintroller’ a more relaxed affair. Its hazy soft brass melts around the pianos and synths to give a classy indie lounge bar vibe. Filip’s vocals really shine here too. Lastly ‘Too Late’ mixes the two previous styles in a very traditional 60’s pop-rock piece. The bright piano rhythms ride and fall like a movie soundtrack before it hits an indie-pop groove in the middle. It has rhythm and fun in the sadness whilst the interplay between string and piano lifts your spirits.
Hands Down provide an indie-pop slant on classic 60’s and 70’s pop-rock vibes. They manage to feel retro yet new at the same time which is quite a tricky feat to pull off well. I also enjoyed how diverse the three songs were whilst feeling connected to each other still. For me, Hands Down has a great feature ahead of them.
*This review was mistaken originally published as the EP titled ‘Meet Me At the Bar’ and has since been corrected.
Recommended track: Meet Me At The Bar
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