All the pretty little girls are going to develop crushes on U.K. duo Turin Brakes. Childhood friends Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian are sensitive and non-threatening, with their high-pitched, often falsetto harmonies and acoustic guitars. Hell, they’re so squeaky clean that Knights and Paridjanian were literally choirboys as children. They’re also extremely well coiffed and wear tight t-shirts, sometimes, and they have songs with names like “Above the Clouds,” where they sing choruses like, “When all is said and done, I will love you.”
The influences on Turin Brakes’ new album, JackInABox, are wide-ranging considering how safe the band is. At times they sound like the Eagles with Spanish inspired 70s guitar playing, particularly on the title track of the album and “They Can’t Buy the Sunshine.” When their acoustic work is quicker, Turin Brakes sound like a more lo-fi Scissor Sisters, especially the song, “Asleep with the Fireflies.”
At their deeper moments, Turin Brakes sound like Jeff Buckley or even Nick Drake. There is a tinge of Drake homage on “Red Moon,” a possible reference to the classic, “Pink Moon.” “Dead friends can’t come back,” Knights and Paridjanian tell us. This mundane lyric is typical for these choir boys, and while you’re not going find many revelatory statements in JackInABox, you will find a catchy, competent indie pop album, with pretty harmonies and memorable choruses. JackInABox is out now on Astralwerks Records.