The Von Trapps – This is the Van Trapps EP

The Von Trapps
This is the Van Trapps EP

The four songs included on this mini-EP are all delightful, using shiny guitars and crystalline vocals and harmonies, backed by the occasional piano, a perky though steady rhythm section, and some thoroughly crafty production. As the whole thing comes in just under 15 minutes, it can really only be considered something of an appetizer, but then again it does its job, leaving the listener primed to hear something more from The Von Trapps. But seeing as how this is to be the band’s only release, maybe it’s really more of a tease.
Listening to This is the Von Trapps is a pleasant walk in the park, all very sunny and colorful, with melodies blooming amidst the instrumentation easily and without strain. The female voice at the forefront is mature, sexy, and effortless, and the perfect topping to the 60s Brit-pop opener as well as the other three numbers with slower tempos and a more wistful, if not melancholy atmosphere.
Still, something so smooth wants something to eventually come unhinged a bit in order to keep things interesting. Everything in moderation, right? Because for a sound that shows signs of being capable of achieving something along the lines of Yo La Tengo’s more engaging work, this band lingers a little too close to the Beth Orton side of things. Not that that’s all so bad, really, it’s just limiting in the sense that the group might be a little too sensitive for it’s own good. Though the EP sparkles with its softly grinning pop, would an album of material all so similar to these four songs really get played through to the end? I doubt it.
But then again . . . I guess we’ll never know.