Charmpit: ‘Jelly’ (EP)
DL/Vinyl (Keroline Records)
I was instantly charmed by Charmpit’s latest EP ‘Jelly’, and not just because it’s named after me. In all seriousness, “Charmpit” is the perfect word to describe their style. Their lo-fi, unwashed pop punk sound and shout-in-your-face lyrics combine with an infectious optimism that makes you want to get up and dance around in a shower of sequins.
California natives, the trio formed in London last year for DIY Space’s First Timers festival, where the line-up consists just of newly formed bands, for what they perhaps thought would be their first and last performance. But it went so well that they decided to stay at it and release 2 EPs instead. The first one, ‘Snorkle’ was recorded in a shed, and ‘Jelly’ has that same garage band vibrancy. Singers Rhianydd and An
ne Marie’s vocals come at you in either ear with some hashed-out harmonies, wound around sparkly guitar sounds.
Their songs are happy fuck-you tunes about relationships, friendships and the odd bit of politics, but it’s never too serious. Pop is definitely a large part of their punk. They sneak a bit of High School Musical into ‘Vacation’, and their single ‘Buckfast My Heart’, which is a personal favourite track, they say was inspired by Britney Spears’ ‘Email My Heart’. For me it has the most interesting songwriting, starting off a bit like a 60s bubblegum pop love song, and being the only song much over the 2-minute mark. I’d be excited to hear more songs like this from them. My favourite line of theirs though was from ‘Margot’, which is about a baby fearing the horrors of capitalism:
“No such thing as a neoliberal baby, every baby is a natural born punk”
In interviews the band’s attitude is very much that their music is a work-in-progress, having only started playing at all last year, and they’re excited to see what the future might hold, discovering new worlds of touring and what guitar pedals do and whether they like them or not. But they definitely enjoy the ride, and they make you enjoy it with them.