One listen of everything's easy will find you humming the tunes for hours afterwards, but it may take a little longer to learn the lyrics – there are an awful lot of them, and they're all filled to bursting with internal rhymes.
Girlyman, the Atlanta-based trio of Doris Muramatsu, Tylan Greenstein and Nate Borofsky, immediately appeal with their perfect close harmonies that recall no one so much as Peter, Paul and Mary, and their evocative lyrics. In this fourth studio album, all 15 songs are written by the members of the group and it was recorded on a single, $10,000 microphone paid for by the trio's loyal "girlyfans".
Very much the standout song is also the longest, at least lyrics-wise. "Easy Bake Ovens" is an atmospheric tale of a happy 1970s childhood set against the turbulent times of Watergate. It will resonate with anyone raised in that era, in the U.S. or elsewhere.
The CD sets the trio against a backdrop of paint-by-numbers, suggesting the simplistic and brightly-coloured world of "Easy Bake Ovens", as well as the title of the album. And yet the songs acknowledge a darker side to the idealism, be it Watergate or the edifices of New York rising next to the untroubled Hudson river or a house in constant need of repairs mirroring the relationships of the people who live in it.
Sometimes, it's true, the listener is led to wonder which came first, the song or the relentless rhymes. But in most cases the strong melodies and the beautiful harmonies just about manage to wash away that niggle in what is a very complete, artistic product.
Release date: March 15