Portland husband and wife team, Heather Larimer and Brian Naubert, together are Corvair and their eponymous debut, which came out in February, is a neat, polished retro Pop record. Kicking off on Oceansided and Paladin with Who power chords, woozy synth sounds and the kind of harmonies and melodic runs that got Cheap Trick and The Tubes on the radio in the Seventies, this is immediately confident and competent stuff.
It isn't looking to tick the hip boxes necessarily. It has much more in common with ELO and ELP than it does with The Velvet Underground. Nevertheless, even though I personally am much more prone to the latter, I enjoyed this a lot. It seems to recreate a Mid-West, Mid-Seventies mindset, a place where it's always graduation day at the Dazed & Confused High School and there's always that Kiss concert to look foward to.
Corvair is certainly eclectic in terms of its magpie pick and mix sensibilities. This definitely feels Seventies grounded but the duo are not afraid to cast their net wider. Sailor Down has a tangible Motorik groove and Larimer's voice is incredibly emotive and resonant on Daily Double. reminding me of Weyes Blood who mines a similar nostalgic seam.
The more that the record spun on, the more I found myself saluting its creative charms. Green clicks on the New Wave switch to thrilling effect even seeming to flirt with Blondie's Fan Mail riff for a moment.Elsewhere, on Focus Puller I was reminded of The Motors Airport of all things, and I didn't mind at all.
By the time the last lap bell was about to be rung it was clear that this was a winner. Not a record that has made any sort of real commercial or critical splash but one that should definitely be heard. A crafted and accomplished album with a peculiar but alluring nostalgic haze about it.