Indie-pop artists aren’t necessarily expected to grow in their careers, at least not the ones adhering to the style first introduced in the mid 80s. Twee music, after all, is the domain of everlasting youth, a place where the troubles of the adult world get ignored for Indian summers and days spent thinking about crushes. It also helps that most indie-pop bands tend to not stick along very long.
BOYISH, up until now, had one pretty good song in “Cupid” and a handful of rougher demos that didn’t show much promise beyond being another bedroom-based songwriter in a country overflowing with them. Yet BOYISH shows tremendous growth on the recently released Gentle Breeze EP, a split work alongside another indie-popper named Daisyblue. His older recordings seemed like fragile sketches, the sort of skinny music that would be lost forever to a mild gust of wind. Opener “Waiting In Summer,” though, introduces a more thought-out BOYISH, one still clinging to the basic principles of twee (easy-peasy guitar strumming and basic beat) but now a bit braver when it comes to actual song construction. “Waiting In Summer” plays more with tempo and sounds fuller than anything that came before it. The other new BOYISH song here, “Sunshot,” runs much briefer but highlights BOYISH’s pop sensibility well. It’s not perfect – the vocals remain clouded by everything else, the Bandcamp tag saying “dream pop” but the effect shows a lack of confidence in singing – but is such a step up that BOYISH now deserves to have an eye trained on him.
Daisyblue, meanwhile, makes better use of the “dreamy” tag, the singing on the two songs from them on Gentle Breeze being light enough to melt away unlike BOYISH’s gruffer tone. “Framing” would be a very pleasant bit of pop if it ran two minutes, but wears out its welcome at six, making it the only obvious misfire on the EP. “Summery Film,” though, is pure prettiness. Daisyblue introduces a melted-popsicle synth and a violin to his swirly pop, and it lends the song a touch of psych-rock that makes it fun to get caught up in. Plus, it knows when to bow out. Listen to the EP below, or download it here.