The Girl From Cherry Valley is an album from Croatian based musical outfit, Jas Frank and the Intoits. The music is avant garde and eclectic, drawing inspiration from a variety of styles and bands from various genres. Some songs on this album like In a Hole and When the Rain Stops have a harder rock quality, with powerful guitars and a very assertive energy. These bring to life an unexpected versatility as the first few tracks had a kind of dance oriented / alternative synthpop aesthetic (especially the opening track High in Space.) There are elements of the 60’s, 80’s, and 90’s in these recordings.
Jas Frank is a charismatic vocalist, and her voice at times reminds me of Nena (of 99 Red Balloons fame) while at other moments bears an incredible resemblance to that of the members of iconic indie pop duo, Tegan and Sara. There is substantial musical variation on this album. What’s consistent though is that these songs are quirky, creative and artful. The lyrics are complex, and occasionally catchy in that “indie sodapop” kind of way, even while they manage to explore darker, more emotionally personal themes. The Girl From Cherry Valley is just a really neat little album from one of those indie bands that has a difficult to pinpoint yet familiar way of making you want to root for them.
I came cross Little Fevers, a quartet from Minneapolis, randomly on Reddit a few years ago and was instantly hooked by their song Apple Tree. I don’t know whether they’ve released anything recently, but they are still out there performing and going strong and as far as I’m concerned the stuff they put out already is memorable enough to cement them with a fine indie legacy. Their music finds that sweet spot in indie pop that balances between retro and contemporary aesthetics. One of their songs, Beaches(from the release, Singles) offers a great example of this. It has a slightly folk quality but with a touch of innocence and cuteness, pushing it closely toward the category of Twee Pop. Singer Lucy Michelle has a voice that seems tailor made for this genre. You simply could not ask for vocals more pleasant to listen to than these. Had Beaches or Apple Tree or any of their other jams been released in the early to mid 2000s, everyone I know would have been listening to them (or at least heard of the group.) Nowadays, the scene for this style of music is not as large, but that doesn’t mean this band doesn’t deserve to stand out just the same.