Release Date: June 16th, 2016
As tempting as it may be, Les Chaussettes should not be dismissed as simply a female-harmony surf/doowop outfit. First of all, much of their music doesn’t even fit into that general classification. Second of all, no matter what style of music they are playing, throughout ‘Who Will Read Your Mind’ the group display a keen ear for smart arrangement and fresh songwriting.
Why would you even pigeon-hole them in the first place, you may ask? Well, because of songs like “Kate”. With its roller-rink organ, ooo-ing harmonies and telling-tales-at-the-malt-shop motif, the track pretty well exemplifies that era of bouffant-haired pop. Well, at first blush, that is. A closer listen reveals more complexity to the instrumentation (dig that rubbery bass!) and the story is not exactly a traditional boy-meets-girl routine. So, even with a song that is close to pastiche, LC manage show off their mastery over their craft.
Elsewhere things are even more interesting. It’s not as if they are messing with the formula because there really isn’t one. Although garage pop could very generally encompass their oeuvre they actually delve into such areas as surf guitar (“Mujer”), rollicking punk pop (“B-Side Baby”) and even heavy psych rock (“Triple Water”).
The vocal harmonies are consistently sweet, and they even kick things up into high baroque on such tracks as “Who Will Read Your Mind” and “Don’t Leave Your Lover”. But the sweetness comes with a nice balancing touch of hard edge on occasion. The down’n’dirty guitar in “Volcanos” and the riot grrrl chorus in “Russian Boy”, for instance, provide moments of abrasion in an otherwise highly polished production.
To summarize, despite their penchant for harmony-heavy garage surf, this band should not be taken lightly. There is more than enough variety and depth on ‘Who Will Read Your Mind’ to satisfy the most discerning of listeners.