Another in a series of self-centered semi-reviews of recent releases by Lehigh Valley-based bands.
Edit: Fixed so the Bandcamp link actually, y’know, works. (Dammit.)
Part of the reason I started writing these reviews was to expose myself to music I wouldn’t typically listen to.
And boy, did I ever push myself this time.
See, I hate cute. I strongly dislike twee. Awkward sets my teeth on edge, and I don’t tolerate adorkable, either.
Pomplamoose are posey, annoying muppets; and Zooey Deschanel exists in my world only as a distant, mostly rumored presence that is loathed and reviled, sort of like Carrie Bradshaw or the Black Shuck.
So who d’ya think should walk into my cauldron of ill-reasoned, seething hatred, wearing the cutest pair of matching reindeer sweaters, but the Coffee Spoons?
The Coffee Spoons are Ashley Dalrymple and Thom Eiser. They’re based in Bethlehem, and they dropped their first EP on Bandcamp only three days ago.
She sings and plays ukulele; he sings and plays glockenspiel. (Yup, glockenspiel, the plinky little xylophone you might remember from elementary school music class.)
Their lyrical subject matter focuses on relationships to the exclusion of all else. Over the course of five songs, they meet cute, go to sleep cute, wake up cute and pine-and-yearn cute.
Oh, and they get drunk and argue, not quite so cute. But that’s the second-to-last song, and they rebound with a closing number so thoroughly charming, it uses the word “fishies” with a straight face. It’s a caravan of cuteness, that one, painting a picture of our hero and heroine strolling cheerfully in cardigans and Oxford shoes.
The Spoons sing their tales of love in a sort of Forties-jazzy way, trading lines and coming together in pleasant harmony.
Dalrymple plays rhythm uke like a pro, while Eiser tinkles away merrily atop her. (No, not like that, you pervert. What do you think this is, Rick James?)
And, when all was said and done, they walked through my pyre of cute-rage with only the edges of their sweaters singed.
Their music still isn’t my cup of tea. Or, to use a suitably cutesy-comfy simile, it’s not my grilled-cheese sandwich and cup of tomato soup.
And it’s not quite as well-recorded as it could be — the sound quality is a little hushed, which is maybe appropriate for an act that mentions blanket forts in its PR blurb.
Still, it’s well-done enough for its genre. Those who like earnestness and plucky ukuleles and close vocal interplay and quirky romance and holding hands like it was the first time will find something to like — probably quite a bit — in these five songs.
The EP is available as a name-your-own-price Bandcamp download here. If you’re young and gawky and just falling for somebody, consider downloading a copy for your suitor or ladylove.
Yup: If you love somebody, send them twee.