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A Magazine for Sheffield

Rookie Error

Clara Pandy started life as a fun and idiosyncratic acoustic duo, but prior to recording this excellent debut EP they've expanded their line up into a powerful and charismatic five-piece band.

I've absolutely loved listening to these excellent songs, though I can't help but think their sound is a smorgasbord of my guiltiest teenage musical pleasures. Within these five songs you'll hear plenty of late 90s indie, a smidgeon of shoegaze and buckets of Jimmy Eat World era emo, along with a fair smattering of Alanis Morisette. All sounds that I love, though I'm unsure if it's a consciously retro decision, or just that all good things come around again. Given that the record references '2012/2011' as some distant past, and that two of my other favourite new bands of the year (Night Flowers and Thumbuster, both much younger than me) also share many similar reference points, I'm willing to accept that, in music industry terms at least, I'm just getting old. Nonetheless - 32 or 22 - there's loads of things to love.

The record is shaped concentrically, starting and ending with two grand, tumultuous, visceral and emotionally charged tracks. The lyrics are exceptional, contrasting moments of brutal honesty - there's a depiction of a first sexual experience that has probably precluded this record being on the Christmas lists of any of the band's elderly relatives - with a lovely, gentle comedy. The inner tracks are more lighthearted, again providing wit among the overall pathos, whilst the central track 'Home' is a beautifully tender love song demonstrating the ability and range of this young band.

Rookie Error is full of grand melodic ideas and sharp textural contrasts, using their expanded line up to create a rich musical palette. Nick Cox's production is as always assured, leaving just enough rough edges to fully emote. It's a confident and very impressive debut.