steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Unknown Joe

"My Secret Lookalike" CD

Galant Records

Genres: indie pop, lo-fi, bedroom pop

Galant Records
Nedre Stangehagen 6

Feb 28 - Mar 6 2005

From Norwegian indie pop label Galant Records comes Unknown Joe's debut album, a twelve-track lo-fi romp with enough hooks to stay in your head for weeks.  These songs are pretty standard in terms of composition - guitar, vocals, percussion, and bass make up the bulk of the lineup; however, they have a distinct melodic charm that is tough to resist.  Simple tunes like "Tie My Heart" and "Happy Pants" win you over with seemingly no effort at all; though they aren't ultra-deep or profound, these songs have a basic joy behind them that works wonders.  Even the sadder tracks have a distinct hopefulness about them.  While the music doesn't do anything that hasn't been heard before, it still stands out as one of the better bedroom-pop sounds I've set ears on.  Whether or not you're already acquainted with the Norwegian pop scene is irrelevant; Unknown Joe's My Secret Lookalike is the type of album any lo-fi lover should take note of.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]