Release Date: Nov 11, 2016
Record label: Bella Union
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Imagine thinking man’s lounge music filtered through Pet Sounds and maybe with a touch of Devo, perhaps even The Feelies. The world of Pavo Pavo is disjointed and echoey yet sweet and poppy, though never quite crossing the line into whimsy. It’s very much a full-band sound, yet the detail in the arrangements proves to be vital. There’s violin (though never quite sounding like you’d expect), airy vocals, waves of synths and quietly thumping drums, while on tracks such as Annie Hall and the brief title track the guitars squeal and rumble.
The last track on Pavo Pavo's debut album, Young Narrator in the Breakers, is called “2020, We'll Have Nothing Going On,” which seems strikingly ominous now given the state of current American politics. However, the Brooklyn-based five-piece consider themselves optimists—a fact mirrored in their music and their aesthetic. The album's artwork features two women holding hands, walking into a metallic horizon like a 1950s advertisement, and this type of imagery informs the album.
On paper, Pavo Pavo's back-story, along with their mustachioed appearance, could see them written off as hipster, wannabe art rockers. The classically trained quintet hail from Brooklyn, and are most at home experimenting in the studio, honing their idiosyncratic wistful pop. But instead of producing an affected collection of overthought experimentation, the group has crafted something altogether more heartfelt and alluring.
There’s always been a history of bands forming at university, where the narrative of musical history is absorbed by musicians in love with possibilities of artistic expression. It’s at this point bands either remain wedded to the music that’s preceded them or try and create something new with the structures of the art-form. Formed whilst they were studying at Yale, Pavo Pavo belong in the latter category.