‘Rookie Error’ by Clara Pandy (EP)
Superbly balanced songwriting from a ‘cheeky indie-pop’ troupe with a mastery of when to shift the tempo of their music
Clara Pandy began life as an acoustic duo in 2013, when Dominic Lo and Laura Yie met while studying music at the University of Sheffield. Extending to a quintet as they grew into a full band, Rookie Error is their debut EP and sees them worthy of their ‘cheeky indie-pop’ tag.
There’s a playfulness throughout the record that recalls the excellent Welsh indie-rockers Los Campesinos! – see, for instance, the opening to Fuck Your Bad Vibes, Bro and twinkling melodies that augment opener Clara. However it’s not all fun and games, as can be heard in the maudlin tone hidden within Home and caustic distortion of The Middle Lover. Where they really shine, though, is in their grasp of when to change tempo. This is best felt in Dempsey’s Arcade, which dips to a haunting Bright Eyes-esque melody two-thirds of the way through.
What’s clear on Rookie Error’s five tracks is how well the quintet work together: there’s no point when any one of the five members’ parts dominates, and there’s a real sense that the band are totally at ease with each other. Of course, this would all be for nought if the songs didn’t hold up, but thankfully Rookie Error is replete with melodies and harmonies so glorious, that you’ll hope Clara Pandy gain an even greater affinity for one another’s writing.
Verdict: Merry, maudlin and melodic indie-pop