Tel Aviv's Garden City Movement are back for 2015 with their third EP, Modern West, and it pretty much picks up where Bengali Cinema left off.
Which is to say that opener Recollections is full of the same sense of space and ambience - the band revel in the reverb and seem determined to keep their sound as sparse as possible. There is plenty of feeling here - much of the same maudlin introversion that permeated Bengali Cinema - but it is dressed oh so beautifully.
My Only Love feels like the closest thing the band have had to an obvious hit since their inception. Breathless vocals and mechanically whirring percussion gives way to a big hook of a chorus and it is difficult not to hear the pensive beardy festival rock of Foals in the falsetto vocals and melodic guitar picking... Which isn't to complain - it's a gorgeous, laid back and infectious song.
Musically the EP maintains much of the delicate shuffling electronic impulses meets post rock operatics throughout. Unfortunately it is hard not to feel like the band are occasionally light on inspiration lyrically - when title track's chorus revolves around a cringe inducing "That's why I fancy you so much" you have to wonder what the guys were thinking. Listening to that line feels like finding the unsent love letters you drafted to your teenage crush. The track itself is a little too populist, particularly in comparison to When We Had It Easy, which lets the synths come forward in the mix as if the band are deliberately using them to hide those easily bruised hearts. Likewise the big distorted bass stab that punctuates Recollections stands out - the band are best when they are pushing to create stark soundscapes.
The problems with its title track aside, Modern West is sure to appeal to fans of this style - if you like Friendly Fires and Foals then this could be your new favourite band... If anything it is even better than their previous material. Only time will tell if they can maintain their more interesting experimental edge as they make the transition into a full long-player.
Modern West is released through BLDG5 Records on 6 April. Check out Recollections and My Only Love below.