POP has something of a bad reputation these days.
That three letter word, which can encompass so many up-and-coming bands, is all too often reserved for the identikit singers and groups traipsing onto the reality TV stage year after year.
So this week, let’s put aside all connotations of manufactured cheese and look at a Welsh twosome, described somewhat vaguely as folk/pop.
Paper Aeroplanes — Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn, markedly small-town musicians from West Wales – are embarking on a UK-wide tour, with a Glasgow date on Tuesday.
The duo have been together for six years, and have released two albums since 2009 — both bouncy, melodic pop records with hints of the particular sound a twee-loving Glaswegian takes to heart.
For the most part, it’s an upbeat version of the indie sound often nurtured and embraced by this city, all handled well by the sweet and likeable voice of Howells — although the new single, Multiple Love, proves that Paper Aeroplanes are as capable of flying low.
The band have been garnering critical support for a while, racking up favourable reviews from The Guardian, BBC Radio Wales, BBC6 Music and Radio 1.
And fans of the Glasgow-based BBC Three drama Lip Service may already recognise a tune or two, as four of the songs have been used for the second series, which is currently airing.
The latest single, and an album due later this year, promise a darker and more grown-up sound — showcased in the stripped-back, sombre Multiple Love and the one-woman video that goes along with it.
Personally, potential highlights for a gig at the Roxy 171 (that’s the former Liquid Ship on Great Western Road, for any ageing hipsters who haven’t been in a while) would be older material, such as the catchy My First Love or the sweet harmonies of Safe Hands.
Still, any band who lists fellow countrymen the Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci as their favourites are alright by me, and definitely deserve a listen.
n Paper Aeroplanes play The Roxy 171 on Tuesday (May 15). Doors are open at 7.30pm and tickets cost £5. Over 18s only.