Singer-songwriter Louis Jones operates under the moniker Spectrals and recently released the cleverly titled Extended Play, a seven-song EP that channels past extraordinaire Phil Spector’s clean-cut production sound while sprinkling extra flakes of quaintness that can only be supplied by that of a U.K. lad.
Being released on Moshi Moshi internationally and on Underwater Peoples in the United States, it becomes quite clear how Spectrals fits snugly into the grand scheme of things for the NJ-based label. Ubiquotous jangly guitar riffs spill throughout the brief 25-minute encounter, while it’s laid-back, surf-rock vibe is familiar territory that has been explored by a band like Real Estate for the past two years. Yet Jones’ songs are tales of love affairs that offer a bit more depth and emphasis on the songwriter aspect to his craft.
Album opener “Dip Your Toe” opens with a few chords on an acoustic guitar before diving into the afformentioned beachy sound provided through a twinkling single note on piano and chimey guitar riffs that sound like they’re straight off a b-side Byrds record. “Chip A Tooth (Spoil A Smile)” slows things down for a moment with it’s downtrodden, out of luck arrangements, but things quickly gain momentum once again on “Peppermint”, a chipper sounding offering of endearment where Jones questions “Now I want to put a ring on it, but who’s fault is that?,” recalling a more contemporary act like the Libertines and their romantic desperations.
Other than the 6+ minute blues inspired “I Ran With Love”, Extended Play feels like it’s over before you even blink. A full-length from Spectrals is expected early next year, but until then, this satisfying EP will undoubtedly remain as a piece of work that deserves a few revisits and one that you’ll want to take willingly, I’m pretty certain.