Review: Gingerlys - "Jumprope"

Gingerlys - Jumprope
(Shelflife 2014)

There doesn't seem to be any active label that puts out dreamy, indie-pop bliss quite as consistently as Shelflife Records. The Portland-based imprint has quietly pressed records for some of my favorite purveyors of reverb soaked and jangle-frosted songcraft, from the smoky lull of The Radio Dept. to the cozy yet calculated electronica crafted by Thieves Like Us. The latest addition to the label's impressive roster is a rookie prospect that shows heaps of potential. Brooklyn tweegaze outfit Gingerlys first showed up on the radars of seasoned Bandcamp hunters with the release of their 2013 demo EP, a handful of jittery acoustic tunes laced with the tender whispers of vocalist Maria Garnica, which often seemed to verge on glossolalia, and the airy howl of her keyboard. The band's debut for Shelflife, a 4-song record titled Jumprope, brings the lo-fi demos to life, surrounding the raw, vulnerable tracks with full, fleshy arrangements. Now a quintet, Gingerlys pack a sprightly punch recalling Heavenly's 1993 "P.U.N.K. Girl" single, only more heart-meltingly pretty. In the studio, tracks like "Jumprope" and "Better Hearts" are more abrasive, but pleasantly so. The keyboards are icy, the lead guitar riffs warm and jangling. "Summer Cramps" displays Gingerlys at their best, brittle guitars, a prominent, growling bass and a ska-like refrain. One might call Jumprope a one-dimensional EP, but when that single dimension of mid tempo pop is this cozy and beautiful, who really cares? Jumprope is a must-have for twee diehards and casual fans alike.