Band details from SoundCloud:
The Soft City started life as the song-writing side project of drummer Phil Sutton, formerly of London punk/soul legends Comet Gain and Track and Field’s best-kept secret, Kicker. Aided by former Kicker bandmates, a three-track EP, titled The Soft City, was recorded in London and released in 2007 by the Cloudberry label.
After moving to New York in 2008 Sutton was joined by singer Dora Lubin, formerly of Washington DC band Black Max, and guitarist Jason Corace, who had released singles and an album as A Boy Named Thor. The group made their live debut at the 2009 New York Popfest, playing at the Cake Shop with, amongst others, Knight School and My Teenage Stride. Shows with The Legends and The Drums followed before the group went into Gary Olson’s Marlborough Farm studio to record The Soft City LP. New York’s hardest working musician Ladybug Transistor and Crystal Stilts keyboard ace Kyle Forester joined them for these live shows and recordings. Since the LP was finished The Soft City have recruited bassist Turner Stough and plan to record a mini album/EP for release in 2010.
Reviews for The Soft City
Heaven is Above Your Head:Band of the month at Don't Die On My Doorstep last month was The Soft City, a British band started by Phil Sutton of Kicker (and Comet Gain). They sound similar to Kicker (but even better!) and it seems my previous confusion of them with The Soft Set seems justified aurally as well as literally. Their first album is out now on Plastilina and includes ten fantastic songs, and my favourites are the jangly "Cold Hearts" and the almost Velocette-sounding "Capital Soul".
Eardrum:The small Peruvian indiepop-label Plastilina records was the label behind one of my favourite releases from last year, The Hi-Life Companion’s “Say Yes!”, and now another goodie is released by this label.
I guess you can call The Soft City an “indiepop supergroup” with former members of bands like Comet Gain, Kicker, Ladybug Transistor, A Boy Named Thor and Crystal Stilts. The band started as the solo project of Phil Sutton (Comet Gain, Kicker), and with the help of some friends, he recorded a 3 track ep for Cloudberry Records in 2007. On the Cloudberry-single, Sutton did the vocals himself, but on the new album, Dora Lubin sings on all songs. The Soft City is no longer a solo-project, but a full band.
Dora Lubin’s strong vocals remind me of someone, but I really can’t tell who. It’s someone good, I know that much.
The Soft City’s self-titled debut-album is full of lovely pop songs with great melodies and jangly guitars. When I listen to these songs, I get the same feeling as I do when I listen to songs by The Go-Betweens and especially the ones Grant McLennan wrote. They may be upbeat and happy, but there’s always some kind of thoughtful melancholy beneath the happy melodies. I like that a lot.
My favourites on the album are many, but “Falling Star”, with its lovely, lovely chorus and layered guitars is one of the stronger songs here. “Young and dumb” is also especially good. It’s a bouncy pop-song with great organs and a wonderful chorus. It’s one of those songs that’s not easy to get out of your head.
Frigopop:Il nome di Phil Sutton, buttato così, potrebbe non dirvi nulla, a meno che non siate dei fan sfegatati dei Comet Gain. Sì perchè il nostro è proprio il batterista della suddetta band inglese, che un bel giorno ha deciso di dar vita ad una nuova carriera solista. Ma il buon Phil però dopo un po' si è reso conto che non poteva fare tutto da solo, e così dopo aver reclutato una serie d'amici, tra cui membri di Ladybug Transistor e Crystal Stilts, ha deciso di formare i Soft City. Ed ecco che dopo vari ep pubblicati per Cloudberry e Plastilina Records la band è finalmente giunta all'omonimo disco d'esordio, e il risultato è stato semplicemente fantastico.
Dieci canzoni, poco più di mezzora, una voce femminile che ti mette in pace con il mondo e con te stesso, più un'ondata di chitarre jingle jangle che ti fanno fare tic tac con le scarpe hanno fatto in modo d'annoverare quest'album tra le cose più interessanti in ambito indiepop/twee di questo periodo, e poi se ci sono di mezzo i Comet Gain, allora tanto di cappello.
Google translation of the above:
The name of Phil Sutton, threw well, could not tell you anything unless you're a hardcore fan of Comet Gain. Yes it is precisely because our drummer of this British band, who one day decided to create a new solo career. But Phil good but after a while 'he realized that he could not do everything myself, and so after recruiting a number of friends, including members of Ladybug Transistor, Crystal Stilts, and decided to form the Soft City. And then after several ep Cloudberry and Plastilina Records published for the band has finally reached the eponymous debut album, and the result was just fantastic.
Ten songs, just over half an hour, a female voice that puts you at peace with the world and yourself, as a wave of guitars jingle jangle that makes you tick with the shoes have made sure of this include 'album of the most interesting things in the field indiepop / twee of this period, and then if there are half of the Comet Gain, then hats off.