The cheery indie pop of The Miracals almost makes you forget that the summer is long-gone. Their five-track EP ‘Give Me A Chance’ is rammed with sweet guitar melodies, perky beats and harmonious vocals that evoke long summer days and nights spent with High School friends and childhood sweethearts.
The opening track, ‘Oh I Know’, is a slow pop delight that has a sunny Beach Boys vibe, and ‘Give Me A Chance’ is The Beatles’ ‘She Loves You’ filtered through the medium of preppy Americana. Its bass and percussion breakdown mid-song allows John McGrath’s halting voice to come to the fore and the slight crack as he shifts register charmingly suggests youthful sincerity.
‘I Don’t Really Like It’ slows things down again. And although the music is as sweet as anything you’d dance to in a 50s-themed prom, the focus of the EP switches from the excitement of potential relationships to their eventual breakdown: “Won’t you come back to me?”, whilst the penultimate song ‘Pretend’ hints that to be young and in love is a kind of self-deception.
Closing number ‘Girlfriend’ is a slightly creepy affair as the lyrics shift to asking for “just once dance” from “my girlfriend for the night”. The insistence that “tonight I’m loving you” is a rather dark contrast to the track’s sweet-as-a-candy-bar melody.
It’s here on the EP that you realize The Miracals are more than just retro-revivalists. The knowing expression of “it seems I fell in love at second sight” draws attention to the love-struck clichés of syrupy love songs.
The Californian quartet used to be called The Smiles and it’s easy to see why. They have cornered the market in breezy, upbeat, retro pop. Listening to ‘Give Me A Chance’ will certainly brighten the darkest of November days. And whilst the music is light-hearted, the lyrics sometimes hint at hidden depths. Well worth a listen.