Cody Distance Learning

Combining twee pop, some dance beats and white noise can be a tricky thing to pull off. Yet, Oxford, England's Cody has mastered it to a tee, making an album that seems suitable for a drive along the countryside, only to be captured on celluloid to advertise the next big thing by VW. Distance Learning, their second album, is a nice companion piece to the last couple of albums by Bob Wratten's Trembling Blue Stars. Their brand of soft and engaging pop songs are complemented by soothing synths and romantic acoustic guitars that have a certain magic to them. The mood set by the vocals and obscure choice of instruments and sounds wanders all over aimlessly, as if the band is totally confused with the love they sing about. At times, they are reminiscent of experimentalists Hood ("Share and Enjoy"), but it's nice to see they can throw in a tribute to Technique-era New Order ("Oscillator") to try and liven things up when the butterflies become too much for the stomach. (Shinkansen)