words: Michael Brooks
Catflap, the debut EP from Singapore trio Sobs, combines the pop instincts of Alvvays with the delicacy of Frankie Cosmos in the most blissful way imaginable, just in time for the current rush of warm days. Whereas most music tagged with “bedroom pop” feels isolated and hushed the music of Sobs is brimming with energy, the feeling of stepping outside on a beautiful summer’s day. Catflap is an impressively realized debut, earnestly drawing from a myriad of influences to create an intoxicating sound all their own.
Lead single “Girl”, a sugar-coated pop gem, exemplifies what makes their music so engaging. Sobs' music is that of a daydream, guiding the listener through a hazy mist of indestructible rhythms and candid sincerity. Melancholic lyrics are punctured by guitar grooves and snappy drums, balancing the intimacy of home recordings with the nostalgia soaked gleam of 80s pop. Closer “Ocean Song” mirrors the sound of waves splashing against the shore, recalling the sensation of coming up for air. Vocalist Celine Autumn’s lyrics, equal parts anxious and reflective, gently glide on top of her bandmates glossy instrumentals. On opener “Hunchback” Autumn professes “my head’s feeling warm/being irrational is a norm”. Likewise, on standout “Catflap”, jangly guitar lines weave in and out behind the vocals to a dizzying effect as Autumn sings “so many things I don’t care enough/too many things I care in proceeding amounts/sums up how I feel about myself”.