Modern reference points have rained down hard on the Raleigh six-piece Annuals, so much so that I was expecting the finest concoction of Flaming Arcade Rev-like dynamics ever put on record.
Just think of the potential. The best bits hand-picked from each band's wondrous back catalogue and assembled from a flatpack box in your living room. You then take to the stage like bona fide heroes without previously going through the front door. How good is that? Mercifully though the reality regarding Annuals is quite different.
Lead singer Adam Baker is only twenty years old, and, though you can see the comparisons in the way tracks like Ida, My take off from his gentle poetry into questing space-age shards of melodic experimentation, his songs abound more with the magic and mystery of questing youth.
The leading track here, Carry On, meanders shyly (and charmingly, when you consider that Annuals are widely touted as the next big thing) in a dreamy romantic haven, kicking up dirt and magic dust with quietly shuffling feet as the big, nasty world passes by outside. It's a wide-eyed and easy sense of melody that stays with us for the rest of the EP, and marks them out as more Beck with pretensions to compose humble opuses than anything more clinical and precise.
Surveying the world with eager and innocent eyes, Annuals convert their music with an unassuming originality that'll soon see them granted their own space.