Love Interest is the second of two perfect pop tributaries that split from Seattle’s Math and Physics Club this year. The debut from Model Shop is an excellent companion to their former bandmate Field School’s debut, released earlier in the month. A bit less confessional, a bit less cloistered than the homespun pop on that gem, the songs on Love Interest springboard out of the bedroom and into the sun. There’s an unbridled exuberance to the album. It’s packed full of the kind of pop hooks that were made to run through the neighborhood absorbing the sunlight filtering down through the trees with a permanent smile in tow.
Yet, even with the sunshine in its strums, Model Shop beats with a bittersweet heart. That smile might be shining on the outside, but its masking some heartbreak and hurt under the surface. Stacked harmonies and strident jangles ring out from the record recalling the early aughts’ stranglehold on indie pop. What sets Model Shop apart from many of their current contemporaries is a thicker production and less precious tether to the ‘90s heroes of indie pop. The record finds more footing with Thermals than with The Pastels, and they feel completely comfortable in that skin. The record is loaded with singles that stick in the brain, from the driving opener “Lucky,” to the soaring “Letters to Melissa,” but they don’t let the connective tissue lag, crafting a solid set that begs repeated listens.
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