As a first approximation, it is fair to say that the Seattle-based trio Seapony is an heir to the wistful college twee of the Field Mice and Sarah Records. By propping up lead singer Jen Weidl’s wispy vocals with more emphatic and popping drum sounds and surrounding her simple words in unending streams of addictive countermelody and dreamy fuzz, Seapony has delivered a taut, fully formed debut. An almost embarrassingly sweet experience — like eating an ice cream cone while ambling through Greenwich Village — its charms are no less significant for being short-lived and utterly transparent. Nothing need be opaque about a great pop record.
Go With Me is as simple as its imperative title suggests. The album’s dozen short tracks are filled with lyrics of just a few lines each, guileless but addictive ditty-leads for electric guitar, and effortless, vocal-filtered crooning. Yet if, in their simplicity, the melodies and accompanying words (phrases like “Let’s go outside / Let’s fall asleep / Let’s say good-bye to you and me”) appear to betray a lack of ambition, Seapony manages no small feat by adorning its simple harmonic and melodic patterns in a seamless blend of the instrumental sheens from distinct, if loosely familial, genres.
At times — as on “I Really Do” with its gentle country twangs and slides — Seapony veers toward jangle pop. Cheerier, almost childish fare such as “Go Away” and “With You” are closer to straight-ahead twee. Both types of tracks meld inconspicuously with what turn out to be the albums strongest moments: slicker, even danceable numbers that evoke the more pop-oriented products of new wave/post-punk revivalism. The crunchy, syncopated “So Low,” for instance, sounds freshly plucked from the Swedish garage-rock gem Up Against the Legends. Best of all is “Nobody Knows.” Alternating between a slinky rhythm part and a high pitched ethereal lead, between sparse percussive snaps and artillery tom-toms, Seapony sounds for three-and-a-half minutes like a crisp contemporary hybrid of the Field Mice, The Smiths and OMD.