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Enjoy Your Pumas - Commonality

Enjoy Your Pumas, Commonality

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ENJOY Your Pumas are an indie act fronted by Rosie Blais. They hail from Winnipeg. And they’re pretty good.

New album Commonality is the follow-up to well received EP Ink: The EP, whose lead single was Less Enthused and it’s a diverse listen that is, by turns, spiky and almost punk-inflicted and also tender and intimate.

Blais proves herself to be an enthralling vocalist, whose range helps to ensure that Enjoy Your Pumas never sound one-note. When upbeat and edgy, her raw style is reminiscent of Karen O or even PJ Harvey, but at other times it shows an ability to switch to balladry that’s more in keeping with artists such as Kate Bush or Bjork.

If we’re being ultra honest (and ultra harsh), the band are never better than when they keep things more down-tempo and melancholy… when the more edgy tendencies of their indie rock are tightened to create pop ballads of real emotional weight.

Hence, album closer Lucky Number Seven is a really powerful piano ballad that sounds ripe for a soundtrack pick-up, while the slow-building but epic Like Animals is an easy contender for album favourite. Blais’ vocals are particularly sultry at this point… and perfectly complimented by the layered instrumentals.

She can do French, too, on When It’s Over, another beguiling piano-based moment, while there’s something quietly reassuring about her when she asserts that No Man’s A Failure… another slow builder of supreme quality (albeit this time employing guitar riffs instead of pianos).

That’s not to say the band aren’t good when they revert to upbeat and catchy, especially on lead single Weight of The Circles, one of a couple of times when Enjoy Your Pumas compare favourably to the art rock of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Worth checking out, too, are the likes of dance-pop hybrid He Was A Fly, the brooding It’s Not A Loss and the punchy, drum-led We Aren’t Cowboys.

Occasionally, there’s the odd offering that sounds more like a first album filler, but in most respects Enjoy Your Pumas are a new band that are really, really easy to enjoy.

Editor’s note… Commonality will be released in February 2011.

Download picks: Weight of The Circles, Like Animals, Lucky Number Seven, No Man’s A Failure, When It’s Over

Track listing:

  1. Setback
  2. Do It Every Day
  3. Weight of The Circles
  4. Sister Rose
  5. He Was A Fly
  6. Like Animals
  7. When It’s Over
  8. It’s Not A Loss
  9. We Aren’t Cowboys
  10. No Man’s A Failure
  11. Walk It Off
  12. Initiative
  13. Lucky Number Seven