Sikap Sempurna : Sikap Sempurna

That tongue-twisting moniker (which roughly translates from Malay to 'perfect attitude') is actually the new outfit for Luke Benge and Francesca Mountfort, formerly of The Rise & Demise. So far, so local CV; but their seven track self-titled EP is an enjoyable little nugget in a sea of indistinct indie releases.


It begins with the attention-grabbing Every Battle, which uses an arpeggiated keyboard line and marching drum beat to build its sense of drama and melancholy. Healing Hail follows, beginning with bubbling bass but soon slides into iridescent layers of spooked guitar and keys against some incessant drum pounding, it even has the sniff of early Pink Floyd about it. There's also something British about Your Shadow Glows, though this time the ever circling textures are reminiscent of The Clientele's way with sparse atmospherics, using layered vocals and sawed strings to maximum effect.


The best corners of their songs however are reserved for Mountfort's cello, adding an intriguing dimension to the band's brand of dream pop. Whether swooning against the reverb-drenched guitars or moving assertively with them, it's a key part of the band's sound. Given the spotlight on the soundtrack worthy instrumental A Place To Stand, she gives a potently expressive performance against a nervous organ part.


Like the best dream pop, the EP wafts along on a misty, atmospheric air, content with mood-setting with few keen hooks to rest your ears on. Though it's clearly a recording made on a shoestring budget, there are ideas that sparkle beneath the occasionally muddy production. That's particularly impressive when you consider the fact it was recorded in a whirlwind seven hours; its delicate results totally belying its speedy construction. It's not essential listening yet - the bulk of the tracks relying on scene-setting than song-making - but if you're hankering for some locally-produced shoegazing, this'll more than hit the spot.


Best Track: Healing Hail

If You Like These, You'll Like This : Today GALAXIE 500, Minotaur THE CLIENTELE

In A Word : nocturnal