At that point where the haze of shoegaze meets the pristine lines of pop, where cool of the underground overlaps with the more discerning end of the commercial music machine, where the dream-like meets the danceable, you find Soft Science. They join dots between that pre-Brit pop territory of the likes of early Lush or The Darling Buds and modern alternative pop fringes encapsulating the same pure pop heart wrapped in shimmering sonics that has always reminded us that pop can be big and it can be clever.
Undone, the first single from the band’s forthcoming third album, Maps, mixes strident guitars with shimmering synth washes and Katie Haley’s soft and floating vocals into a wonderfully swirling thing of MBV-esque beauty.
They really nail their sonic colours to the musical mast with the accompanying song on this double A side as they take on The House of Love’s classic I Don’t Know Why I Love You. Originally recorded for the House of Love tribute compilation album ‘Soft as Fire in The House of Love’ it sees them staying fairly faithful to the original whilst adding their own mercurial blend of sometimes soft, sometimes spiky touches. After all there isn’t too much you need to change about a song this great.
If their references harken back to the golden age of independent record labels, that balance of commerciality and dream-like otherness never really went to far away. With the music industry at large becoming a closed shop for anything which doesn’t fit their pre-ordained template, maybe, hopefully Soft Science are destined to be part of the rising movement coming from the grassroots and locked out fringes that forms a viable alternative path.