David Goggin is a musician from Southeast England who used to play in Brigadier Ambrose and Vlks before deciding the time was right to tackle a solo project. Little Storping In The Swuff is named after a fictional town in the sixties TV show The Avengers, and his music is just as quirky as you can imagine from that reference. The eleven mostly short songs on Baroque Anxieties are baroque pop gems distilled to their essence. David Goggin is playing most of the instruments himself, but is helped out by friends on violin, cello and trumpet.

The opener Oh God, What Now? is a melancholic song, performed at a sedate pace, with plaintive vocals and a definite sixties flair. The trumpet that accompanies the chorus gives the piece a very intimate feeling, just like the violin parts that can be heard throughout the song. The following Prickly David recalls early Pink Floyd, which is not a surprise considering that Syd Barrett is a big influence on David Goggin. The sarcastic verses are contrasted by a strangely happy yet also somehow sad chorus. The lyrics are, as expected, very prickly, which makes listening to this piece even more fun. The following two songs are shorter and faster, an exception on this album. Optics Wise reminds with its carnival atmosphere of American indie legends Neutral Milk Hotel, whereas A Little Bit Bored flirts with Britpop catchiness.

The remaining tracks go back to the artistís laconic / melancholic persona. Take Me More Seriously seems full of angst, which doesnít prevent David Goggin to come up with a moving chorus that combines the chamber pop of The Divine Comedyís Neil Hannon with the vocal dramatics of a Marc Almond. The second half of the album doesnít come with so many instant hits like the first one, but tracks like French Exit, Pea Soup and Chokeslammed have enough depth, narrative and charm to keep Baroque Anxieties in the top tier of current indie pop albums.

Itís not so much about being original as it is about taking elements that have been used before, but crafting them into small, enchanting pop songs that wonít fail to move you. There is one word that instantly comes to mind when listening to Little Storping In The Swuff: Britishness! The music contains all the feelgood stereotypes one associates with the United Kingdom. Apart from the aforementioned artists, I also felt reminded of Richard Dawson, whose music may sound different, but who has a similar lyrical approach, so that listening to the music is only half of the exercise, the other half being the lyrics whose stories will keep your attention like those from any good storyteller. Fans of baroque pop with a nostalgic preference for the aesthetics of an England from a bygone era will be more than just delighted by this curious piece of art that stands quite by itself in this current era.

11 songs

37:30 minutes

***** ****

Genre: baroque pop

Label: Spinout Nuggets

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