Knife Pleats
“Things I Hold” kicks of side two of the brand new Knife Pleats album “Hat Bark Beach”, just released on 29 September by WIAIWYA in the UK and Lost Sound Tapes in North America.

Knife Pleats is the latest band formed by the prolific and influential Vancouver musician Rose Melberg. She is joined here by Kaity McWhinney and Tracey Vath (of Love Cuts) and drummer Gregor Phillips. Of Melberg’s earlier bands Tiger Trap are perhaps the best known, but there’s a half dozen others plus solo recordings. “Cast Away The Clouds” (2007) in particular is a highly recommended beautiful solo album.

There’s an easy familiarity about the frantic-paced pop here on “Hat Bark Beach” – all 12 songs are in the 2 minute to 2 & 1/2 minute range. But listening to the whole album reveals as many shades of difference as there are songs.

Sometimes Knife Pleats channel the kind of primal 80s indie-pop frenzy of The Shop Assistants, other times perhaps the pulsing sophistication of early Stereoloab – an indication there’s much more depth and breadth here than any one bouncy guitar pop formula.

The upbeat/downbeat songs here are bursting with fuzz & jangle pop, propelled by insistent simple drumming and topped with glorious pop melodies and engaging vocals. Melberg’s warm voice is perfectly understated, capturing nuanced resignation when singing about downs and ups of everyday life. It may all add up to a familiar musical style, but few do it better than Knife Pleats on “Hat Bark Beach”.

It’s already one of my favourite albums released this year.