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SMOL FISH Sooky La La gets 8/10


Smol Fish
Sooky La La 
Independent 

8/10

Smol Fish have come along way since beginning as the solo project and musical journal of singer-songwriter Clancy Davidson. The last few years has seen Smol Fish develop into a full band set-up and a staple on local stages. Sooky La La is a high point for the band who have seen their profile increase exponentially over the past year.

Sooky La La contains one of the better songs released on the planet this year. Like a Lemon has been given its fair share of airplay and yet never grows tired. It has the perfect mix of melancholia and humour as well as a unforgettable chorus as the song swells. It also boasts the cracking lyric of “sorry that you’re so damn sour, you should think about getting out of customer service.” 

Davidson’s voice evokes images of a pale-skinned youth with a disposition to match, which is highlighted during the EP’s opener Sunnier. Clean guitars and uncluttered arrangements are the order of the day as Smol Fish make heartfelt tunes without any excess. Sad Summer Girl is the soundtrack of a youth spent wrapped in blankets and being perennially uninvited. It is a song that would be well at home on a Camera Obscura record with it’s pop smarts and clear vocals. 

There is an overwhelming twee naivety to the songs on Sooky La La with the dominant narrative being the mundane malaise of everyday life. This is best illustrated in Dead Bonsai, which could have been pulled straight out of a diary entry from mid-winter. 

Underneath the overt cuteness of the delivery of Smol Fish lies a more sombre observation of solo pursuits, and it’s this juxtaposition that is the band’s finest weapon. With half a dozen songs that would make Charlie Brown appear chipper in comparison, Sooky La La highlights the band’s knack for pinafore pop.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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