twelve24 – Traveller EP

Traveller EP

We’ve had a lot of exposure in Australia recently. It seems like most of our readers are coming from that neck of the woods these days, and I’m excited. It’s nice to extend coverage beyond just the US and into other countries. And it seems that Australia is a hotbed of good bands that just don’t get exposure in the US. That’s a shame, because bands like twelve24 would go over quite well in the states.

Drawing comparisons easiest to bands like Bettie Serveert, Belly, Julianna Hatfield, and Suddenly Tammy, twelve24 are a delightful indie pop band, lead by singer Danielle Buhaglar’s clear and cute vocals. The guitars on this disc make it more than just another female-fronted pop band, as they dish out crisp, perfect melodies and strong yet subtle rock sensibility. Really, these songs are more than catchy, they’re almost perfectly put together so as not to overwhelm you.

“Jenny” kicks off the EP with a bright, bubbly pop sound and crisp guitar lines. A song about waking up to the sound of a flatmate using the washing machine at 7 on a Saturday morning, the song has delightful male and female harmonies, pristine guitar lines, and strong rhythms. It’s a nice lead-in, but really the band shines on a song like “Green.” A bit more restrained, this one’s lead by subtle synths, a march-like rhythm, and fantastic acoustic guitar. Bringing to mind the best of Bettie Serveert’s songs, this track is powerful and moving, and I can’t help but hit repeat at least once. “Hour at a Time” tends to be a bit moodier, and here the female vocal melodies are a gorgeous touch. “Preconceived” lets Buhaglar’s vocals take center stage, bawled out sometimes almost soulfully, as this quieter song picks up for the chorus with bursts of feedback-guitar and shows off a more edgy side of the band. Finally, “Room” closes with a gorgeous 5-minute track, showing off a more melodic and quiet side of the band, deep and personal. With excellent bass work, the song has a delightful flow.

Traveller is almost perfectly produced, with just the right mixture of instruments so that Buhagler’s wonderful vocals are emphasized but not overwhelming, as many bands that have nothing more than a great singer tend to do. Because twelve24 have the talent to back up the nice vocals, creating a splendid mix of charming melodies and crisp guitar lines. While the sound is a bit dated to me, harking back to the mid-90s, it reminds me why I loved music at that time so much. Wonderful stuff. Worth going to Australia to seek it out.