I first became aware of Canterbury's Picturebox 'cause of Welsh legends Derrero. A few years ago I was doing a sort of retrospective look back at the releases from that band when I got word from Ash Cooke (Derrero, Pulco) that Derrero bassist David Hirst was in a new band called Picturebox. The first few things I heard from the band didn't sound nearly as great as this new album does. The Garden Path is out on Monday and I highly recommend this one.
From the Brian Eno-meets-Paul McCartney hooks of "Happy Ending" to the Obscured by Clouds echoing "Teacup", The Garden Path is a record of subtle pleasures. Frontman Robert Halcrow has crafted some elegant indie pop here that manages to bear traces of so many worthy influences. That's not to slight the overall effect of The Garden Path but to assure a new listener that there will be so many easy-to-love bits of tunefulness here once you get this record and spin it.
The awesome "ARP" somehow manages to sound like both Spearmint and The Wannadies and that's no mean feat, is it? "In Yr Dreams 2Nite" bears a trace of early Pulp, as another reviewer has already mentioned about some cuts on this record.
But for all those nods in the direction of their worthy influences, and others on this album, Halcrow and his crew in Picturebox have produced something very special here. Catchy and direct, these tunes are worth treasuring. If The Garden Path sounds like a modest, rather short record, that's okay 'cause the band have still taken a big leap here. The Garden Path by Picturebox is one of 2015's most pleasant surprises and it's only February. Grab it now.
Follow Picturebox on their official Facebook page.