Album: Cajun Dance Party, The Colourful Life (XL)

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The Independent Culture

Recorded at sessions snatched in between A-level exams, Cajun Dance Party's debut is reminiscent of mid-Eighties indie-pop, from Orange Juice to The Smiths – particularly in the way it combines skittish, light-headed musical enthusiasm with intelligent, intriguing lyricism.

It's quite impossible to sustain a heavy heart while listening to The Colourful Life, even when singer Daniel Blumberg is picking at emotional scabs in "Amylase" ("I'll take your peace and you take mine/ It's stalemate, we're just wasting time") or, suitably bereft, musing upon his own imbalance between heart and head in "No Joanna": "I'll always look through my eyes, through my heart, but not my sense; I seem to lose more than I choose". The latter's gentle, bluesy arpeggios and caress of strings reflects a cultured eclecticism that recalls The Coral – as does the infectious guitar hook to "The Next Untouchable", and the euphoric rock surge of "The Race". Kudos too to Bernard Butler, whose taut, unfussy production allows the band's melodic core to shine through brightly.

Watch Cajun Dance Party's video for The Next Untouchable

Pick of the Album: 'The Colourful Life', 'The Race', 'The Next Untouchable', 'No Joanna'