Production is minimal so heart is maximised, but with a record so raw and modern folk a futile field for emerging bands, Potato Potato are a little too starchy to be tasteful.
Remember those kids in high school that gazed at their shoes, picked daisies and swore by polaroids? And were irritatingly handy with a guitar? They formed a bluegrass band. Byron Bay four-piece Potato Potato say music is what happens when they aren’t surfing or feeding chickens, and while that may not sound promising, their EP atones.
Their self-titled maiden voyage sees the youngsters finding their sonic feet. As with any new band, the risk of outside influences taking unbridled control is often inexorable. Opening track ‘Memories’ is treasure for those who brazenly wept to early Angus & Julia Stone records, with the kick of a bass drum pulsing over a simple, arpeggiated guitar melody. A light vocal and three-part harmony brings warmth to the track, the lamenting hook “With the devil by her side / Misery filled up her lungs” clicking sticks but still falling short of sparks. ‘Devil By Her Side’ is Matt Corby meets Mumford, though the muted percussive guitar and piano chord interjections hit a little to close to the latter’s home.
Lead single ‘Eveything Is Coming Back’ showcases the band’s instrumental knack, with a sprightly dexterity from the banjo breathing soul into the track. The intimate harmonies harness a barbershop panache, with Merryn Boller’s vocals weaving a lithe yet husky glow through the mix.
‘You Can Find What You’re Looking For’ is exactly that. The walking bassline and slowed-down chorus flirts with sharp piano riffs in the verses. Maintaining the sweet simplicity of other tracks, it ventures out and sees the ’Taters finding their own sound.
BY MINA KITSOS
Potato Potatois out now through Vitamin Records