Dreamy debut from tender contenders

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Score 4

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Marjorie Fair – Self Help Serenade

The lilting, fragile sounds of this LA four-piece will massage the shoulders of fans of Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips, Neil Young and Kevin Shields. When it counts, Marjorie Fair burst into ecstatic guitar abandon, while singer Evan’s feel-my-pain confessionals can be equally therapeutic. They’ve mastered the burning/chilly genre with ease, and if their debut gets a little Lennon-maudlin towards the end (“My Sun Is Setting Over Her Magic” is especially mournful), its many highlights mesmerise. The stunning “Stare” is both melodic and explosive, one of the year’s best singles, while “Waves” is superbly onomatopoeic. A rich harvest.