Too many of the recordings by groups associated with the Elephant 6 clique have been limited by hang-ups about how production values relate to perceptions of hipness. Unlike their lo-fi-locked contemporaries, Brooklyn's Essex Green are aiming at the arrangement creativity and sonic clarity of their 60s inspirations, the Beach Boys, the Zombies and the Millennium. And with their exquisitely crafted new release, The Long Goodbye, they've come closer than ever to making the sort of classic pop album that wouldn't seem out of place in their home collection. Admittedly, things get a bit kooky at times with the overzealous use of banjo and naff organ fills, yet the playfulness behind it has always been one of the Essex Green's greatest assets. An unexpected delight.