The Azaleas are a band from London comprised of Luke Dooley, Tim Bamber and Joe Brand. Their debut release Frankie is certified art pop. The band is at their best when they are experimenting and deviate from from a more standard pop structure. In fact some songs have parts that work beautifully while other moments don’t tend to be as strong.
The EP starts with “Heidi” which starts off solely with an acoustic guitar and vocals. The lyrics are great but sparse guitar and vocals are not the strong point of this outfit. He sings “I could swear your cherry boots were custom made Can I take them to the cobblers, get them laced I could see the rest of the class were overawed With your eloquence, your candour and your form”. The song starts to get interesting about halfway through where the lyrics are soaked in reverb and the vocals soar. This is one example of the band having some great ideas in a song that started off relatively weak. The song gets better as it progresses.
“Frankie's In His Martinette” is the band at their best. This is a good song that is fun, has inventive changes while managing to be poppy. The lyrics are very well written on this song as well. He sings “Frankie's in his Martinette He thinks of all the things he should be stealing Car is full of suffragettes Frankie thinks he must be dreaming”.
“7 Steps” has moments that are his hit and miss. The acoustic guitar, vocals and drums are a bit underwhelming but then right before the two minute mark the band makes a brilliant transition. He sings “You don't know how blue you made me. I don't want no other girl - hell I'm just pretendin I kissed one, two, three, four, five, six, seven in a week after you're gone”.
“Caroline's Bicycle” has some really inventive parts as well such as around the three minute mark while “Coke & Fries” benefits from getting weird, dissonant and psychedelic.
Frankie has some great ideas. Not all of it works but the band is onto something. I think will a little bit more refining while working on their strengths the band has a lot of potential.
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