released May 25th, 2010

from the album - Blue Genes

from all music

Jihae Simmons Meek met her future husband and Neverever bandmate, Bricolage's Wallace Meek, during her stint as the lead singer for the Glasgow-based indie pop group the Royal We. Following the Royal We's breakup in 2007, the couple moved to Jihae's hometown of Los Angeles, CA, where they teamed up with Devon Williams and Mickey LaFranchi and got to work on a new indie pop project. Initially calling themselves the Champagne Socialists, the fledgling band's early songs sounded something like a gritty, sun-blanched mash-up of the Royal We and Bricolage. Their debut single, Blue Genes, came out on Slumberland Records in the summer of 2009; the Champagne Socialists changed their name to Neverever shortly after the 7" single was released. The lineup changed a bit as well; Devon Williams parted ways with the group to pursue a solo project, and new members Jackson Baugh and Jessica Espeleta were brought on board. The group's first album, Angelic Swells, was released on by Slumberland in May of 2010.

album review

Neverever may be formed from pieces of some great Scottish pop bands (vocalist Jihae Meek was the singer for the Royal We, guitarist Wallace Meek played in Bricolage), but they’ve created a sound that owes very little to the Scot-pop lineage. Instead, the band’s debut album, Angelic Swells, is a charming batch of songs that draws influence from the sounds of '50s pop, '60s girl groups, classic doo wop, and angular post-punk, while telling tales of high-school romance, heartache, heartbreak, and the wild and wacky ways of the heart. It’s a combo of sound and words that, when sung by Jihae in her slightly unhinged, nearly over the top style, leads to a great deal of drama. The best of the songs, like the rock-bopping "Teardrop Tattoo," the insistent "Coconut Shampoo," and the wonderfully dramatic and sweet "Young Runaways," sound like the kind of brightly energetic songs that were built to mixtape highlight specifications, sure to boost the mood of any gathering. Indeed, most of the album has that feeling, though the pretty cover of the lovely Plimsouls ballad “Now,” the lilting slow dance of album opener "Here Is Always Somewhere Else,” and the Bow Wow Wow-inspired “Cowboys and Indians” show some welcome range and keep the album from becoming a blur of similar-sounding songs. Along those same lines, the bandmembers do themselves a huge favor on Angelic and set aside the lo-fi hiss of their early recordings and opt for a bigger, cleaner sound. It helps set them apart from the other bands treading similar boards, and more importantly, the cleanliness of sound allows the melodies, Meek's vocals, and the exceedingly well-played guitars room to breathe within the arrangements. Angelic Swells is the work of a band with a vision, a well-thought-out, well-executed plan that helps make the record loads of fun to listen to.

Track Listing

1 Here Is Always Somewhere Else
2 Blue Genes
3 Coconut Shampoo
4 Now
5 Young Runaways
6 Cowboys and Indians
7 16th Wonder
8 Bitch Boys
9 Teardrop Tattoo
10 Young and Dumb
11 Underwater Ballet