Sydney outfit The Holidays never quite rose to the lofty heights that many – including themselves, possibly – had expected they would. Now, post-Post Paradise, the textured calypso is not so much there anymore and in its place is a fuller, more stoic sound that Kevin Mitchell and Jebediah would be fans of.

Album highlight ‘Tongue Talk’ is a triumphant pop anthem that will worm its way onto the road trip playlists of everyone who hears it, bringing to mind the ’90s brilliance that was Len’s ‘Steal My Sunshine’. ‘Simple Pleasures’ is a standout, with vocalist Simon Jones’ affable falsetto cruising alongside the arpeggios that juxtapose nicely against the syncopated marching band beat. The album is very cleanly produced, but at times the amalgamation of organic sounds with synthetic ones is a little jarring (the bongos-versus-blippy Korg notes in ‘Outsiders’ doesn’t quite work).

The Holidays’ first effortPost Paradiseseemed like an aptly named album for an aptly named band.Real Feeldoes not quite have the conceptual cohesion of their debut.

However, it seems much more like an album they wanted to make rather than one they felt obliged to make.

3.5 stars

Real Feel out now on Liberation.

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