Modesty can be a valuable asset but when you call your band “Sans Nom” and the frontman, Simon Peacock, modestly describes his Canadian outfit as a “collaborative musical project with a few of my friends”, expectations can’t be set too high. No matter, ‘Vol 1 – Self Obsessed’ is far better than its understated introduction promises.
Indeed, from the dreamy arrangements and angelic vocals of ‘Borders’ to the eerie combination of harmonies and electronica for ‘Self Obsessed’, this is clearly an EP worth listening to. Quite why the group chose to name a song ‘Think McFly’ is open to debate but the shoegaze meets grunge pop on show is a joy to behold and it’s clearly the best thing here. Then to demonstrate their versatility, right at the centre of the EP is a cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ where the female singer reveals she has an alternative career path as a country singer to fall back on, should the need arise. ‘Tongue In Cheek’, meanwhile, projects menace and melodrama.
Sans Nom certainly don’t go out of their way to market their material and, in fairness, their music is essentially an above average mix of electronica and shoegaze. Yet there’s enough songwriting talent here to suggest these Winnipeg musicians could convert their potential into a quality album.
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