Listen / Review: Pauma - Sink Or Swim

Pauma know that the finest pop songs are built on the simplest structures. It wouldn’t take a Royal Academy graduate to perfect the four-stop circular progression that forms the bedrock of ‘Sink Or Swim’, but these fellas dispatch it in a wilfully composed manner. From this locked-in phrase, cut from cavernous surf guitar and a laidback finger-clicking shimmy of a beat, rises a wounded baritone vocal, recalling such grandees of savvy Eighties croon as Ian McCulloch and Edwyn Collins. As the chorus blossoms, awash with reverb and fuzzy keys, the rather defeatist lyrical premise of “I Want To Give Up/Don’t Want To Give In” is a neat counterpoint to a stirring few bars of sound. Pauma’s silhouette-based promo photo, as spectral as the song’s outro, indicates that this London quartet wish to give off an enigmatic air prior to the release of their debut EP. But then a band that can pen stylish pop nuggets as catchy as this one don’t need to be a bunch of try-hards.
Pauma’s debut EP is out on 10 November
Words by Nick Mee: Follow @Nickjmee on Twitter