Jaill, out on their second excursion for the mighty Sub Pop Records, apparently recorded this album in singer Vincent Kircher’s “crummy, poorly lit basement”. It has to be said that the surroundings didnʼt influence the sound too much. On the whole Traps is a fairly impressive sunshine-tinged slab of good old fashioned melodic pop. Itʼs wry, sometimes harsh and often bittersweet but mangled up in there is humour and, most importantly, tunes.
Waste A Lot Of Things starts us off in fairly decent four to the floor bass/drum plod and slinky guitar fashion. Its dark hued psych-pop is a precursor to the overall feel of the album and if you like that sort of thing then itʼs a damned fine way to keep you listening.
Elsewhere Perfect Ten jitters and twists along in a nice quirky way and, like most of the songs found here, a fair amount is squeezed into less than three minutes, proving that a lot can be done in not a lot of time when a song is in the right hands.
Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs) and Million Times are strum-along acoustic affairs – the latter ending with a gloomy electrified refrain that brings to mind a lo-fi Smashing Pumpkins.
Although largely a DIY effort born in the aforementioned dingy cellar, Traps has a fair amount of spark to the sound. This may well be down to the mixing of Nicolas Vernhes, who has tweaked the noises of Exitmusic and Dirty Projectors among others.
Overall Traps is a rather worthwhile little listen. The whole shebang comes in at a tad over half an hour, and surely the busiest of hip cat pop lovers could fit that in.