Conceived whilst on a journey that took the lead singer through 12 different countries in as many months. and heavily featuring the sound of the flying-v ukulele that much of the EP was written on, ‘Karaoke Bites’ is the epitome of a summer that everyone in Britain is waiting for. With wonderful ukulele chords and great vocal harmonies, the EP is beautiful. Citing an expansive list of influences that includes Sparklehorse, Grandaddy, and Blur, Beartown Zodiac’s sounds is a light indie-folk-pop combination reminiscent of a band-of-the-moment Noah and the Whale.
The title track, ‘Karaoke Bites’ is a surefire winner, a really well-produced track with lyrics that are full of mystique and intrigue, beautifully conveying tales from somewhere far east. Coupled with this is a ukulele melody that is both gentle and uplifting; which sits on top of a great electric bass line and other electric guitar riffs that add great depth to the track.
Another great track, ‘Rosiebird’ is a perfect demonstration showcase of how great music can be as simple as one man and a ukulele. Starting with A Capella vocals, the track builds in pace as the story told through the lyrics progresses. Helping the track progress is a simple repeating ukulele chord sequence that perfectly accompanies the harmonies that come in at the climax of the song.
The EP is a showcase of a very light, summery sound in a genre that is so popular at the moment it’s hard to imagine Beartown Zodiac going anywhere but up. ‘Karaoke Bites’ is a must-listen for fans of Noah and the Whale, Grandaddy, Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire. 7.7/10