Envelopes Demon

[Brille; 2006]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: indie-pop, rock-pop, cutesy
Others: The Unicorns, Apollo Sunshine, Architecture in Helsinki

Envelopes are a Swedish group with one French member, producing crystalline boy/girl indie pop. Playing a slightly Scandinavian-tinged counterpart to Canada's The Unicorns and Australia's Architecture in Helsinki, Envelopes also throw a bit of fuzz into the sugary mix for good measure — more Pixy Stix than Pixies.

While I find wide-eyed, "let's be friends" pop generally pretty grating, I've got to admit that Envelopes are able to captivate, at least in small doses. I don't have any use for bedtime songs like "Your Fight Is Over," but "Sister in Love" and "Isabel & Leonard" are catchy and winsome enough to win some converts. The hints of Swedish accent, both light and heavy, depending on the song's singer, give the band the personality they don't get from the spotless production and schizophrenic arrangements. The band's female singer (or one of them) sounds downright childish and has the strongest accent on the record; she and a male vocalist harmonize well on "Massmouvement." For a parallel, think Stereo Total with a dude.

Elsewhere on the record, "I Don't Like It" breaks out into tasteful eruptions of guitar squall, and the cute "Sotnos" closes the album on a characteristically friendly note. If you're a sugar-pop junkie or a Helsinki-lover, check this one out.

1. It is the Law
2. Glue
3. Sister in Love
4. Your Fight is Over
5. I Don't Even Know
6. Isabel & Leonard
7. My Fren
8. I Don't Like It
9. Massmouvement
10. Sotnos

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