If ever the online classified ads site Gumtree needed help in promoting their own website, then perhaps relaying the story of The History Of Apple Pie would do the trick. The London band consisting of, at the time, Steph Min and Jerome Watson resorted to using the site in order to recruit a drummer. Their efforts proved fruitful as a James Thomas responded, who, along with new recruits Aslam Ghauri and Joanna Curwood completed the band’s roster.
Not exactly the most glamorous way to start a band, but I guess it worked for the Pixies, so why the hell not. One year later, the band released their debut single “You’re So Cool” which immediately defined them as an Indie Pop/Shoegazing outfit, making them comparable to 90’s band Lush and more recently The Horrors. Upon releasing their debut album Out Of View in 2013, the band immediately found themselves at number eight on the UK Indie Breakers Chart and number 2 on the UK Record Store Chart, a sign of a group moving forwards.
A year later and Feel Something, The History Of Apple Pie’s latest album is here, but is it exactly a move in the right direction? Well the answer is a yes and no. Musically the album sounds great, the second track, “Tame” though straight forward, has a certain combination of all the right attributes; a catchy chord progression from both guitar and piano, overlaid with an occasional guitar vibrato and a solid beat. “Tame” is a song that definitely sticks in your head. The intro alone is inherently cool, containing a riff that Django Reinhardt would have been proud of, a strange comparison to make toward a shoegazing band but honestly, the sound is definitely there.
This is the first example of how The History Of Apple Pie can make their music work, if anything, The Horrors made this kind of thing relevant and accessible again, all that The History have to do is make it their own, infusing their style with a variety of different genres and experimentation is exactly how this is achieved. My only gripe is that I wish they had utilized this a bit more, especially through this song. We were given a taster of something else that seemed so comparatively great that disappeared almost as soon as it had begun, that being said however, the song as a whole is hard not to like. The lyrics fit the shoegazing label perfectly, sometimes drowned out in a “the wall of sound”, at other times just adding to the course of the melody. “Tame” is a song that definitely puts a smile on your face, a track that you can put on and just chill out to in the sun.
“J’amais Vous” is another standout track on the album. The distorted “wailing” lead and clean guitars following on from the drums, creates a distinct and distinguishable “indie pop” melody, shying away from a nebulous sound musically, lyrically however the quality remains. This track is definitely one I found myself putting on repeat the most out of all the songs on the album. The chorus has a barely noticeable transition from the verse, yet there is a clear vibrant energy, evidencing the outfit’s musicianship and solid style. Tracks such as “Puzzles”, “Don’t You Want To Be Mine”, and “Snowball” all utilize this “collective energy” that the band generates.
Other songs such as “Ordinary Boy” and “Just Like This” however have a softer feel to them. The latter is less guitar orientated in verses, which in regards to the rest of the album is a nice quality. In fact “Just Like This” is possibly the most well-crafted song on the album. The use of “space” made from the drums and vocals gives it a certain lulling feel, which is undeniably pleasant.
Whilst Feel Something definitely has some great individual songs, there is one factor that I found let it down; the first is that listening to the album in its entirety is something of a jarring experience. Though it may seem like a minor quarrel, the fact that some songs just don’t transition well into the next really does disrupt the whole feel you get when listening to them. However, apart from this, I cannot fault it. Indescribably cool and laid back, Feel Something is certainly a soundtrack for the end of summer.