Vancouver's Animal Names mine that wistful, sunny mood that brings up memories of certain elements of 90s indie pop, albeit with more modern tones and instrumentation. While they might be from opposite shores, early Sloan isn't a bad comparison, just with much less guitar noise and a wider range of textures.
They've got a good ear for a catchy hook and know enough not to cover it up with overproduction. Unfortunately, their attempts at lyrical wit often come across as a bit goofy, treading an uncomfortable line between earnestness and novelty. A promising debut, but they'd do well to spend more time listening to contemporary pop and to reconsider whether their songs actually need to be sprinkled with cutesy jokes.
Animal Names play the Drake Saturday (August 30).