After the release of The Stroppies debut Whoosh and the Look Alive EP, the Melbourne quartet firmly established themselves as a top tier indie jangle pop band that followed a very Flying Nun sound. Their carefree approach comes off effortlessly and that same confidence caries their sophomore full length, Levity. What is different this time though, is that the band takes more risks within tracks that I feel gives the Stroppies an increased depth in their overall sound that really works.
Like so many other album releases this year, Levity was impacted by the pandemic with isolated members being forced to develop new ideas on their own and sharing from different locations. This meant many of the tracks developed more slowly and even were mixed independent of the band. Not that The Stroppies would want to repeat this process but for this moment in time the method yielded a multitude of positive outcomes. The tracks are filled with more sounds that includes synths and distortion around the vocals, which many times is emphasized around bassist and co-vocalist Claudia Serfaty. Her Justine Frischmann meets Mary Timony vocal stands out every time she sings above the indie haze.
The pop moments and vocal harmonies that we have come to enjoy from The Stroppies are still on Levity but the record’s more type of Wire moments take the band to a new level. The off-kilter jangle during “Tricks On Everything” are memorable while the brooding distorted closer “The Bell” is a great finish. “The Perfect Crime” opens the record with a vocal loop that masterfully builds and completely changes the instruments up at the end as “I’m In The Water” has several Sonic Youth “Bull In The Heather” movements with its vocals pulling themselves up just above the swirling instruments at the right time. Overall, The Stroppies took a big chance on Levity and even though it may not be as immediately accessible as Whoosh, it is just as infectious after multiple plays and paves a great new path for the band moving forward!
“The Perfect Crime” / “Figure Eights” / “I’m In The Water”
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The Clean / Pavement / The Loud Family