Of course, this is technically indefensible. In [a]NME[/a]’s mission to bring you the best cutting-edge sounds, the words Teenage Fanclub and good old-fashioned proper pop music can seem like the lowest of slurs. Thing is, horror adjectives that they are, sometimes they’re the only ones that will do.
Hence Astrid; chirpy, bouncy, cartoon urchins from the north of Scotland who, despite any initial scepticism, are an awesome pop group. If songwriting success was index-linked to any sense of musical ambition, then their hyper-melodic buffoonery could be consigned to the bargain bucket of history within 30 seconds, but as long as the forces of melody continue to be a presence in the land, then Astrid will have earned their footnote in the hereafter.
In short, they are criticism resistant; the monolithically exuberant ‘High In The Morning’ and the mellifluous ‘Boy Or Girl’ are simply mighty pop songs. They’re exquisitely restrained, perfectly constructed and, if the essence of pop is an expressway between verse (A) and chorus (B), then singers William Campbell and Charles Clark are unimpeachable masters of their craft.
So, in the evolving pantheon of pop, Astrid might be an irrelevance but, curse their oily hides, tonight is a glowing testament to the power of indie-pop. We’ll be standing outside until you forgive us.