Neins Circa Sunday Anthems

Releasing a pop album on Carl Newman’s label must be a little bit like working as a Cajun chef at a restaurant owned by Emeril Lagasse. But if guitarist/vocalist and principal songwriter Cameron Dilworth feels any performance pressure from his talented Blue Curtain boss, the Neins Circa bandleader doesn’t let it show on this bright and confident-sounding full-length effort. That self-assuredness is well warranted, too, as Dilworth’s teeming band of artsy players plucks, plinks and chime their way through the clever and melodic motions, frequently touching on elements of "folky baroquey” Anglo lo-fi and classic Kinks-isms along the way. The band incorporate a wide range of instrumentation to great yet subtle effect, as pianos, trumpets, bells and maybe even a kazoo or two mingle with more conventional pop noise makers. Lyrically, Dilworth spins some compelling (if not particularly linear) yarns, though many of them seem to revolve around gigs and girls. Typical subject material, perhaps, but his write-what-you-know sincerity is commendable just the same. (The Blue Curtain)