If all publicity is indeed good publicity, then Norway’s Sløtface have already gotten to a flying head start after causing a minor stir earlier this year thanks to a Facebook censorship issue, forcing them to switch from their original moniker of Slutface to their current name. Though given what they actually sound like, they’d be the last band anyone would expect to cause any sort of drama, given how innocuous and sweet their indie-rock is.
Still, ‘innocuous’ and ‘sweet’ aren’t conducive with ‘unappealing’, and in Empire Records‘ meagre four tracks, Sløtface manage to do a whole lot with very little. As breezy as this EP is, it crams so many hooks and gorgeous, sugar-sweet melodies into a 13-minute-long package that it’s ludicrous to think what is band could do with a full album.
It’s also surprising how much variation there is here; the quirky pop-rock of the title track that could easily soundtrack any number of indie comedies sounds nothing like the lowkey, almost Wolf Alice-esque Bright Lights or the cutesy sway of Fever Art, but there’s a remarkable cohesion that runs throughout. It’s in part thanks to the production that shimmers playfully but keeps just enough substance to make tracks like Take Me Dancing or the title track really pop, but it’s mainly Haley Shea who does the heavy lifting, her quirky, slightly awkward vocals reminiscent of Candy Hearts frontwoman Mariel Loveland in their ability to craft an unshakable pop hook while keeping in time with their own inward-focusing qualities.
And while it’s true that there’s been a lot of bands like this in 2016, very few have had the same unswervingly sunny disposition and brazen enjoyability factor as Sløtface. It’ll take something more substantial than Empire Records to prove that to be more than just a misguided early prediction, but if they can pull it off with this level of panache, there’ll be nothing to worry about whatsoever. As it stands now though, for a brief throwback to summer as 2017 hurtles into view, you really can’t go wrong here.
For fans of: Wolf Alice, Los Campesinos!, Candy Hearts
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Empire Records’ by Sløtface is out now on Propeller Recordings.