Album Review: Soft Cotton County – The Man Who Walked on the Moon EP

by Joel Edelman on January 17, 2014

soft

Hi, this review isn’t Troy McClure. You may remember this EP from such Spinning Platters posts as “Individual Writers’ Lists: The Best Albums of 2013.” You’ll see there I made this my second-favorite record of 2013. And it’s an EP, so it is a breeze to listen to.

I have a … soft spot in my heart for Soft Cotton County. They’ve straddled the line between ambient and indie pop for about four years now. Some call it “dreampop.” I call it “cloudcore.” You can, too, but no one will know what you’re talking about. They’ve been firing out an EP roughly once per year, although a full-length may be in the works soon. We’ll see.

The first track is “Water.” The vocals are a bit more pronounced than some of the band’s older material, and Shawn Colvin fans (or just plain people named Raffi) will enjoy this track, which reminds me of “Wichita Skyline” in terms of accompaniment.

The title track is next and works well as a lullaby. It’s quite similar to “Water.” There’s nothing obviously wrong with the track, although nothing really stands out about it either. I know that now Sia and Ellie Goulding are popular, but you have to understand that Soft Cotton County were doing the same thing a long time ago. But, that means you can use this track as a gateway for your 99.7 Now-listening fans.

“Then I Dreamed of Flying to Information City” is more rhythmic and probably sounds great when you’re high. Go try it and let me know. If you like “Shout” by Arling & Cameron, it’s not the same song, but it sounds like a sequel. This track gets better every time I hear it.

And the best is at the end. “You’ve Remembered School” has an intro that makes me think of “Angry Johnny” by Poe. The synths also cause the song to approach Book of Love status. I even hear hints of “The Living Years” by Mike + the Mechanics in the melody.

The reason these last two tracks are much better to my ear is strange, in that I love female vocals (hey, I write for Spinning Platters—how could I not?), and I especially love this female singer’s pipes. But when Soft Cotton County put the male vocals, drums, synths, and (to a lesser degree) guitar all together, it’s altogether better. I guess I can’t eat tacos all day either.

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