In 2010 songwriter/producer Marco Divic and Nina Leinwatter formed the Austrian alternative indie pop duo Soft Plastic. It wasn't long before they met producer/mixing engineer Filippo Gaetani and released Halilopeux on Aerostat Records / Ray Recordings in 2013. In a sentence Soft Plastic makes near perfect indie pop. Their sound encompasses strains of influence from acts such as Yo la Tengo, Pavement and even acts such as Waxahatchee.
Halilopeux is a guitar album that explores its sonic possibilities. They achieve fuzzy dream pop style guitars while at the same time are not afraid to explore clean, spacious tones as well. The guitars are an integral component to their sound but the album’s anchor is the vocals. Divic and Leinwatter split vocal duties. Sometimes Leinwatter provides the lead, sometimes Divic does and sometimes they sing together. Anyway you cut it up it works. They both have attractive warm voices that feel symbiotic with the music.
They open up with the title track entitled “Hailiopeux,” which contains an infectious melody that will get stuck in your head. In fact everything from the guitar melody to the bass part might get stuck in your head. They start with a soft, warm verse followed by a bridge, which builds up to an explosive chorus. This song is pretty much the definition of indie pop as Leinwatter sings, “follow me” and Divic adds subtle vocal harmonies.
“Rainbows” contains overlapping fuzzy guitars as Leinwatter delivers another vocal performance that feels like ear candy. The band rocks out a bit more on “Is There Anyone” and splits vocal duties between Divic and Leinwatter. The split vocal work didn't feel gimmicky but natural.
“Climb” showcases their voices in unison while closer “Oh” has some of the most inventive guitar parts on the EP. There is really isn’t much I didn't like about this album.
Halilopeux contains some good if not great songs that feels like quintessential indie pop.
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