While their debut was a fine record in itself, Popstrangers appear to have embraced their New Zealand sonic heritage to deliver an ever more impressive follow up with Fortuna. Flying Nun records put New Zealand music on the map many years ago and although they may live in London, the trio from Auckland have rediscovered their love for squalling guitars.
There are considerably less rough edges getting in the way of the psych pop flourishes that inhabit Fortuna. Vocals that sound like they were sung whilst washing your hair in the bath bring a Shins-like vibe to Sandstorm, that also benefits from a wandering bass line and solid drumming. Distress borrows some post-punk angst and vigour without sacrificing melody during its loose and urgent three minutes.
The irrepressible melodies of first single Country Kills has found Popstrangers featured on all the widely read indie music websites to open the door for an even bigger splash than a youthful dip in the Tasman Sea. Some slacker rock moments rear their head throughout, but it is the meandering slower moments that give vocals and guitars space to interact and shine.
Popstrangers are taking broader brushstrokes as they explore the fertile ground of chiming guitar pop. Fortuna is a follow up that greatly exceeds expectations for a band that clearly know a thing or two about this song making business.