Frankie Rose has made it clear that she doesn't want to be defined by the bands she used to play with, yet the erstwhile drummer of Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls did little to distance herself from those projects on her 2010 solo debut. On her sophomore album, though, Rose has left behind the girl-groupisms, the fuzz and the Outs (her former backing band), replacing them with the stylish synth and jangle pop of the 80s underground.
The shift in direction suits her. Rose's sweet, ethereal vocals are still reverbed as all hell but are no longer hidden behind waves of distortion. Her voice, in fact, is usually the most audible instrument, hovering above swashes of Cure keys and Johnny Marresque riffs. Often, that results in catchy, irresistible dream pop, though the hooks are staggered between floaty bits of unresolved slow-build atmosphere. Ditch the padding and Interstellar could be a flawless EP.
Top track: Know Me