Neil Brogan of Sea Pinks is one of the most prolific songwriters on these shores. With five albums released in just over five years, it is a clear display of a feverish work ethic. And ‘Soft Days’ displays no signs of Brogan slowing down. Sea Pinks’ output is defined by a subtle sonic evolution from album to album and ‘Soft Days’ continues that trend.
However, their fundamental rawness has always been maintained with minor tweaks in production and song-writing style. Whilst previous album ‘Dreaming Tracks’ has a cleaner polished sound, ‘Soft Days’ has a rugged fuzziness but somehow has a greater clarity than the previous albums.
At first ‘Soft Days’ feels like more of the same, but when you consider the high benchmark of the preceding albums that isn’t a negative. Over ‘Soft Days’ duration the distinct differences and continued evolution of Sea Pinks become more apparent.
Brogan’s keen ear for a hook remains as sharp as ever. The jangle surf pop of Cold Reading snuggles quickly into your consciousness. Real Estate fans find much to admire in Cold Reading’s understated hook laden choruses and melodies. Ordinary Daze and Down Dog both bristle and shimmer while Yr Horoscope bounces hyperactively. In an album brimming with sugar rushes, Yr Horoscope is the sherbet dip.
Other tracks take time to worm their way in, but are no less engaging. Green With Envy and Trend When You’re Dead are both slower paced and their charms are not so obvious. They slowly emerge as two of ‘Soft Days’ best songs with repeated listening.
That essential mix of instantly likeable songs and slow burners makes ‘Soft Days’ one of Sea Pinks best albums. We can be grateful that Neil Brogan is yet to hit a creative fallow patch.