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Todd & Karen - Juicy Gossip From The Mothership (Sublime Exile Recordings)

10 November 2023

Any tune that kicks off with a sonic surge, akin to an early Springsteen intro, albeit one cooked up on synths scavenged from a Flaming Lips afterparty, only to unravel itself into a whimsical serving of jaunty power-pop, well, that’s a tune that’s snagged my curiosity. And throw in a savvy, offbeat, and downright inexplicable song title like “Juicy Gossip From The Mothership,” and you’ve got Todd & Karen racking up points in my book.

Infectious is the word, and it’s an infectiousness that flows effortlessly. No pretense here, no gimmicks or affected sonic charms trying to pull a fast one on the listener. Songs this immediate can only be an extension of the personalities behind the music. Natural and honest songcrafting. “Juicy Gossip From The Mothership” (I can’t help but savor writing that title) is a delicate equilibrium, where a delightful array of guitars adds a dash of edge and heft on one hand, and on the other, quirky keyboards and scintillating synth riffs hook you helplessly in.

It’s a tune that echoes slightly with a ’60s pastoral pop allure, yet it’s unmistakably a product of the here-and-now—a splendid blend of then and now, a dance between the realms of what if and what might be. This is music that tips its hat to the echoes of past sonic triumphs while keeping both eyes firmly locked on its forward trajectory.

Needless to say, count me in as a fan!