It is always nice when you come across pop music with a bit of bite, a bit of character, and a bit of originality. And those are just a few elements in this cool mini-album from the equally cooly-named Alpha Cat. Venus Smiles… is an album carved from a combination of all the things that make pop great, infectiousness, originality, and well-crafted melodies…but also elements more associated with indie or rock, spiralling and often jangling guitars and engaging lyrics. It’s a perfect balance of poise and purpose, grace and groove.

In fact, the songs here remind me of the pop music I grew up with in the eighties. Not the chart dross that people associate with the decade but the deft New Pop that came courtesy of bands like The Church, The Go-Betweens, The Icicle Works and The Bunnymen. Pop music with a more robust, rock-leaning heart.

Is there a finer emotive guitar ballad than Witchita doing the rounds today? Or a better slice of understated indie than Orbit? Or a more compelling power-pop groove than All In Your Head. Or a better, angular take on pop-rock than Venus Smile? If there is, let me know.

Great pop music is back on the menu, it would seem.

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